When it comes to PTE coaching, Sahasriya finds that students from vernacular (non English medium) education struggle. To ensure all students are successful, Sahasriya’s Advanced PTE course combined with Foundation course is a path-breaking initiative to equip such students to succeed in PTE. Sahasriya’s Advanced PTE course along with PTE Foundation course has been piloted with tens of students over last few months and have seen 100% success. For the first time in PTE preparation, Sahasriya’s Advanced PTE course has been creating not only ripples, but also bringing in structured learning to students wanting to succeed. In Bengaluru or Chennai-Velachery and Porur or Coimbatore, the best success rate destination for English courses always ends up at Sahasriya. Everyday’s note on important aspects of English language is a standing example of students leveraging Advanced PTE course. Today, it is about ‘Rational‘ and ‘Rationale‘.

Most people like to think of themselves as reasonable people, guided by common sense and given to sound thinking.

Whether this is true for any given person is usually up for debate. The spelling of words, however, is not, and whether you describe someone as rational or rationale makes a difference.

Rationale and rational are actually different parts of speech. Only one is an adjective, so if you use the wrong one, you risk fracturing the structure of your entire sentence.

So which of these words is which? Continue reading to discover the difference.

When to Use Rational

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What does rational mean? Rational is an adjective. It means sensible or logical. Someone who is rational is able to think clearly about something and reach a sound conclusion. A rational idea is realistic, achievable, and useful.

Here are a few sentence examples,

  • When Tarun looked at Madhu, his heartbeat increased, his eyes softened, and his brain lost its capacity for rational thought.
  • Harini reviewed all available evidence and reached the only rational conclusion: She would have to kill her ex-boyfriend in cold blood.

Rational has been used in English since at least the 14th century. It comes from a similar Middle English word, which was itself derived from a term that the French borrowed from Latin.

When to Use Rationale

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What does rationale mean? Rationale is a noun. A rationale is an explanation of the reasoning behind an idea or belief. Depending on your profession, you may be required to provide a rationale for many or most of your decisions, especially if those decisions are expensive or time-consuming. Rationales can be formal documents or an informal defense of a perspective.

Here are some example sentences that include the word rationale,

  • Harini’s rationale for murdering her physics professor was that if she didn’t stop him from inventing a time machine, he could inadvertently alter the course of all human history.
  • “Please provide a rationale for this large expense plan,” requested the HR director.

Rational and Rationale Pronunciation

The spelling and pronunciation of these two words are similar, but they differ ever so slight.

Rational is three syllables and is pronounced rash-uh-null, with the last syllable being similar to that of proportional.

Rationale is three syllables and is pronounced rashuh-nal, with the last syllable being similar to that of morale and chorale.

Trick to Remember the Difference

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Since these words are actually different parts of speech, your choice between them comes down to how you use them in a sentence.

  • If you need an adjective, use rational.
  • If you need a noun, add the to spell rationale

Since rationale and reason both contain the letter E, you should have little trouble remembering that rationale is a set of reasons that support an argument.


Is it rationale or rational? These two words are never interchangeable, so you will need to be sure you know how to use each correctly.

Rationale vs. Rational main difference:

  1. Rational is an adjective that means logical or sensible.
  2. Rationale is a noun that refers to a set of reasons that support a claim.

This daily series is an effort by Sahasriya in helping not only Advanced PTE course students but also PTE Foundation course students in constant upgrading of their skills and learning.

About Govind Desikan

AvatarGovind, a master of English language has taken to sharing his experience on English language and focus specifically on finer inputs on English language, IELTS and PTE exams through his posts here.

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