Historic vs. Historical   

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When referring to an event in the past, what would you call it – historic or historical? Both historic and historical are adjective forms and have relatively similar meanings. However, they are not two spellings for the same word. In this post, we will discuss the difference between these two adjectives and outline their uses.

When to Use “Historic”

The word historic describes something famous or influential in history. It can be used to refer to people, places, or events of the past. However, it can’t be used for everything related to the past. You need to use this adjective for things and people that have high importance in history.

Examples of Historic in Sentences

  • Astronauts returned safely from their historic flight into space.
  • The marks of that historic battle can still be seen in the surrounding areas.
  • Americans have performed incredible historic feats.
  • This whole area is of special historic interest.
  • India has a vibrant heritage of historic buildings
  • The park is located in the historic heart of the city.
  • She was enticed by a curiosity to see the historic spot.
  • This summer, we will visit the historic sites of the country.
  • This historic building is listed in protected monuments.
  • The government spent a lot of money to preserve this historic castle.
  • Much of historic Rennes was devastated by fire in 1720.

historic vs historicalWhen to Use “Historical”

As mentioned above, the word historical is also an adjective used to define history concerned with past events. Historical is simply something that happened in the past, regardless of its importance. Any event of the past can be historical, but only the most memorable ones are historic.

Examples of Historical in Sentences

  • She has written a historical drama.
  • Do you have any historical evidence for it?
  • For the sake of historical accuracy, please let us state the facts.
  • There are so many cultural and historical relationships between the two states.
  • This play is full of historical inaccuracies.
  • What causes historical events?
  • I love reading historical novels.
  • This novel mixes historical facts with fantasy.
  • He belongs to the historical society.
  • She is remembered for her mythological and historical works.
  • Women are not allowed to enter the monasteries for some historical reasons.
  • The historical origins of this situation are outlined on the first page.
  • The theory section is designed to provide more value to historical research.

Trick to Remember the Difference 

One easy trick to remember the difference between these two adjectives is remembering that historical ends with an “L”. You can think of this “L” as standing for “long time ago”. As we mentioned above, historical events are simply events of the past, regardless of their importance. On the other hand, historic ends with “C” and “C” stands for critical. Remember,  all historic events are a critical part of history.

So whether to use historic or historical depends on your subject matter. If you’re referring to something that is exceptionally important or important in history, use historic but if you mean something, which took place in the past, regardless of importance, use historical.


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