Historic vs. Historical

Historic vs. Historical

Historic and historical are very similar words. They are both adjectives, but they mean slightly different things. Read further to understand the different meanings of these two words so that you will use them correctly when you have occasion to refer to historic or historical people, places, or things.

Historic is an adjective that refers to something from the past that is famous or important.

1. We are standing on the site of the historic Battle of Gettysburg.

2. The swearing in of Barak Obama as the first African-American president of the United States was a historic moment in American history.

3. Do you think the Wright brothers even realized the historic magnitude of their first flight?

4. I remember the historic occasion of the fall of the Berlin Wall because I watched the news coverage with my family.

Historical is an adjective that refers to any past person, place or thing-regardless of its fame or importance.

1. This course is about historical events that occurred in Latin America before the year 1950.

2. The professor was studying the historical culture of the island, which is why he got to spend his entire summer at the beach.

3. The library is working to catalog historical documents for the local school system.

As you can see, both of these adjectives have to do with the past-with past people, places, things, or events-but they are slightly different. In summary, something that is historical is just something from the past, but something that is historic had an amount of importance to the course of history.

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