(In)Correct use of the ending "al" for adjectives


Help!  My senior management colleagues frequently use the word  "divisional" as in "Divisional Manager" or "divisional goals" an adjective(?) instead of just Division Manager.   I think I know this is incorrect, but I can't find a rule or explain why.  When is it correct to use the "al" ending?  


(I'm glad this is anonymous basic grammer and I should know)

edited Aug 31 '12 at 20:41 kathy New member

1 answer


Don't feel embarrassed that you are unsure of something you think you should know. (A friend of mine would say, "Don't should all over yourself.")  Even professional writers use editors and other tools. 


Division is a noun and divisional is an adjective.  For some reason it sounds odd to your ear, and it could be the context in which it is used.  Try these on for size:


Division          Divisional

Region            Regional

Department    Departmental


John is the ABC Division Manager. 

John is a divisional manager. 


Notice that the noun is used as part of the position title, and I included the specific division.  Using the adjective is more vague.  What sort of manager is John? He's not a regional manager or a departmental manager. 


When you are talking about the goals of the division, it is appropriate to say divisional goals.  Which goals are you talking about?  The ones at a divisional level.  If you want to talk about the goals of a specific division, you would make the word possessive by saying the division's goals. 


I hope that helps.

link comment answered Aug 31 '12 at 22:25 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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