Difference Between Rational and Rationale

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Rational and Rationale

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There are some words with similar sounds and spellings in English, but their meanings are very different. The terms "rational" and "rationale" sounds extremely similar, yet they are not. They share the common underlying concept of the Latin "rationalis" and have near similar spelling.

Rational and Rationale are two distinct components of speech. The term "rational" is the act of applying logic to the thinking process. The distinction between Rational and Rationale as nouns is that Rational is a cause, whereas rationale is an explanation of the foundation or primary grounds behind anything. As a verb, the rationale term is used to determine one's logical faculties, draw conclusions by methodical fact comparison, undertake the processes of deduction and induction.

Rational vs Rationale

The number one difference between Rational and rationale is that one ‘Rational’ is used as an adjective in a sentence at the same time as the opposite ‘Rationale’ is used as a noun. The ability to assume surely and draw logical conclusions is called being Rational. It may also refer to giving a reasoned justification for a person's behavior. Contrarily, the term ‘rationale’ refers to presenting a series of legal documents or a briefing to support a course of action or a comprehensive strategy. Since the fourteenth century, the word ‘rational’ has been used withinside the English language. It is an adjective that describes the capacity to cause rationally and provide a justifiable justification for a piece of choice.

Since 1657, the English language has employed the word ‘rationale’, which has Latin roots. The words reasoning, hypothesis, arguments, etc. are synonyms for rationale.

Difference Between Rational and Rationale in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Rational Rationale
Meaning The ability to reason logically and think clearly is what it means to be rational. To justify anything implies offering a series of logical justifications for a major course of action.
Part of speech Reasonable may be used to describe a noun since it is an adjective. A term, rationale, denotes appropriate justification or documentation.
Pronunciation It is pronounced rash-uh-null and is a three-syllable word. A three-syllable word, the rationale is pronounced rash-uh-nal.
Clause Adjective Noun
History The word "rational" was first used by English speakers in the fourteenth century. Despite having Latin roots, the word "rationale" first became widely used in the English language in 1657.
Use When someone appears to reach a logical conclusion and gives sound justification for it, that person is said to be reasonable. Depending on the occupation, one can either offer justification in the form of written legal documents or vocal justification.
Uses English, Mathematics English, Reasoning
Example All the arts are therefore at once rational and productive.  What is the rationale behind these new exams?

What is Rational?

The term "rational" is frequently used to indicate a logical concept or a person who makes a logical claim. Although it has been a part of the English language since the fourteenth century, ‘Rationalis’ is its source, In one statement, the term "rational" is used as an adjective in a sentence. The definition of this term ‘rational’ is to think logically, or with reasoning, and reach a reasonable conclusion. It is frequently used in English to describe the capabilities of taking any judgment. It has a different meaning in mathematics. In mathematics, it additionally has a that means that refers to a range that can be written because of the ratio of integers. Any number that can be written as the ratio of two other numbers is considered reasonable. A real number of values that can be expressed as the ratio of two integers, where the second integer is not equal to zero, are referred to as rational quantities in mathematics. Rational numbers include all integers, polynomials, and fractions. For instance, since they can all be stated as ratios, the numbers 3, 5, 6, and 0.5 are all rational

Rational can be used to describe someone who makes choices primarily based totally on common sense instead of feelings. Being Rational is the term used for it. A rational strategy and a rational negotiator are examples of things outside people that can be rational. All of these items make sense or may be used to use logic to address complex intellectual issues. They utilize their intelligence and reasoning to analyze problems and use logical thinking and good judgment.

Since at least the fourteenth century, rational has been used in English. It derives from a word from Middle English that is akin to one that the French received from Latin.

How Do You Utilize The Term Rational In A Sentence?

In the English language, the term rational may be employed in a wide variety of contexts. A fantastic approach to remembering word definitions is to use them in sentences.

Rational has many different meanings. Below are a few instances of how it may be used in a sentence.

  1. The rational side of me realizes it's more important I win the bet I have with him than see him suffer.
  2. Victorians published lots of biographies of Jesus which sought to explain the passion narratives in a rational way.
  3. Modern American economists have dignified this common-sense insight with the name of rational ignorance.
  4. I would hope we can then return to more rational discourse on the subject.
  5. A rational egoist will desire a law that everyone except him will follow.
  6. The prominent animal features had sunk or softened down, and the rational and intellectual had become developed.
  7. That needs no exceptional soil, but merely a rational culture, and let us see what it means.

What is Rationale?

In a sentence, the term "rationale" is employed as a noun. The term "rationale" denotes the act of applying logic to one's thoughts or the process of reasoning. It originated from Late Latin even though it is now often used in the English language and rose to popularity in the middle of the sixteenth century. To rationalise is to come up with a series of persuasive justifications for a course of action. It can be applied to provide an explanation for a potential future course of events or to provide support for a previous occurrence. The representation of formal and informal collections of arguments is called rationale. The phrase can be used, for instance, while delivering a formal document or when providing verbal justification for occurrences. An explanation of the logic supporting a theory or viewpoint is called a rationale. Depending on your line of work, you can be expected to justify many or even all of your choices, especially if they're costly or time-consuming. Rationales may take the shape of official documentation or a casual justification for a viewpoint.

Examples of the term "rationale" in sentences are shown below:

  1. Recommended changes had to be substantiated by explicit statements of rationale, supported by the systematic review of relevant empirical data.
  2. They should not use the excuse of a different technology as a rationale for imposing different standards on speech.
  3. This interventionist approach stands uneasily alongside the free-market rationale.
  4. Opening the seminar, outlined the rationale of the development program and the approach being adopted.
  5. The economic rationale, in terms of economic efficiency, was agreed in terms of increasing competitiveness, rather than the change of ownership.
  6. The Republicans’ rationale is that it is wrong to pay students to do the kind of things they should be doing anyway.
  7. Most vegetarians follow an environmentally conscious lifestyle, regardless of whether they chose to give up meat for ecological reasons or another rationale.

Some Types of Rationale

Design Rationale

A design rationale is an explanation for design decisions; it explains why a certain design was chosen and how it fulfils design goals. It is all about detailing the entire procedure. This is useful since it establishes the reasoning factor and may be utilized to develop a justification for any particular undertaking.

Project Rationale

A project justification is an argument in favour of a certain project that explains why it is necessary. In a nutshell, it provides a way and identifies the concerns and problems. It describes a problem and a remedy, as well as the advantages.

Strategy Rationale

A strategy rationale outlines why a strategy is necessary and what the advantages are. It is the rationale that explains why an acquirer wants to buy a target firm. It discusses how the purchase will assist the organization in terms of strategy.

Decision Rationale

A decision rationale describes the basis for making a decision. This may be utilized to make any decision including a given explanation before carrying out the strategy. In business, this may describe the risks or restrictions of any specific action that the firm is about to take.

What Is The Rationale For An Essay?

The study's rationale ties the study's historical context to your particular research issue and argues that the latter is required in light of the former. Briefly, you first provide and discuss the available facts on the subject, and then you inform the reader, in light of the background information you have just provided, of any gaps or problems you have found and why you believe it is crucial to solving them.

It may also go by the name such as "justification" or "purpose" of research. When you are asked to explain or justify a decision you make or an action you do, you are asked to provide a rationale. Reasoning focuses on the "why": the reason you choose to do something, study something, or pay attention to something. It is a collection of declarations of meaning and purpose that frequently fills a hole or meets a need.

To write your rationale, you should first provide a background on all previous research on the subject of your study. What's missing or the study's unanswered questions should come after this. Determining the gaps in the body of literature and underlining the significance of filling those gaps is the main part of writing a rationale. The purpose of the study, as stated in an article or thesis, or the justification for its need. In other words, the research rationale should inform the reader or examiner of the importance of their investigation.

Main Difference Between Rational and Rationale in Points

  1. Rationale is to present a series of logical documents or reasons for a major course of action. Rational denotes someone's capacity for clear thinking and providing a logical explanation.
  2. While the rationale is a noun, rational is employed as an adjective.
  3. In contrast to Rationale, which is a three-syllabus word and is pronounced rash-uh-nal, Rational is a three-syllabus word and is pronounced rash-uh-null.
  4. The word Rational was first used by English speakers in the 14th century, although Rationale has its roots in Latin but only became widely used in English in 1657.
  5. When someone appears to reach a logical conclusion and gives sound justification for it, that person is said to be reasonable. On the other hand, depending on the profession, one may offer justification verbally or via the use of legal papers.


It's critical to comprehend the distinction between reasonable and reasoning since doing so will result in incorrect sentence construction. For instance, the term reasonable is the adjective/descriptive word in the question, "Do you have a rational explanation for what you did?" The sentence becomes grammatically incorrect if logic is accidentally substituted for the term. Since you cannot defend an action with illogical or contradictory justifications, a good "rationale" must by definition be "rational." However, since "rational" is an adjective and "rationale" is a noun, they are not interchangeable, therefore you should be careful how you use them in your writing.

These two terms differ not just in their meaning and in the parts of speech they denote, but also in how each of them is pronounced. If the word is mistakenly switched with the other it can change the whole meaning of the sentence, therefore understanding the difference between them is important


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"Difference Between Rational and Rationale." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 20 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-rational-and-rationale-1194>.

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