Difference Between Essential and Necessary

The words Essential and Necessary are important in every part of human life. One should understand the difference between them and find which is essential and the things that are necessary for human life.

Then only they can prioritize things according to that. This is because many people confuse these words necessary and essential as same and think both are important and cannot live without them.

Essential vs Necessary

The main difference between Essential and Necessary is that essential is something important in life, and without that, we cannot do anything. Necessary is also important in life, but we can do some things in life without that. Laws are not referred to using essential. But laws are referred using necessary. Essential is derived from Middle English. Necessary is derived from Latin. 

Essential vs Necessary

Essential is completely necessary. It is the basic part of nature.

One of the best examples of essential is innate intelligence. Some of the essential services are police, armed forces, corrections, firefighting, and utilities.

In MCO, some of the essential services are petroleum supply, water supply, and transportation maintenance services. Essential has high importance in life. 

The simple definition of necessary is it is absolutely needed. Necessary does not mean we cannot live without that.

For example, food is necessary for human life. But humans can live without food for a day.

It does not mean they have to continuously consume food. Likewise, things that fall under the category of necessary in life mean we can also live without that. 

Comparison Table Between Essential and Necessary

Parameters of ComparisonEssentialNecessary
ImportanceIt is very important without that we cannot do things in our life.It is important but we can do things in our life without that.
LawIt is not used for referring law.It is used for referring law.
Derived fromMiddle EnglishLatin
ExampleWater is essential for human survival.For achieving desired results hard work is necessary.
MeaningIt is stronger.It is needed.

What is Essential?

It is something absolutely necessary and very important. It is that important as to be indispensable.

It belongs to the very nature of the thing. All our basic human needs are essential.

It is not limited to food, health care, and water. Essential workers are people who conduct a range of operations and services.

These people are essential for continuing critical infrastructure operations. This is because critical infrastructure is very large. 

It has sectors ranging from energy to defence to agriculture. Essential humanity is vitally important.

Essential services are functions and services that are needed during pandemics. They help in maintaining the welfare and health of the municipality.

If something is not important in life, then it is called non-essential. There are 7 essentials that a human being needs.

The first is survival and safety. The second is connection and acceptance.

Third is esteem, significance, and identity. The fourth is self-fulfilment and self-transcendence.

The fifth is understanding and growth. The sixth is contribution and creation.

The final essential is self-direction, freedom, and justice. There are essential industries called emergency services and health care sectors.

They help people during emergency crises and protect their health. Essential needs are important because they have the potential for becoming economic demands. 

What is Necessary?

Necessary means it should be done, and it is needed. There is a condition called a necessary condition that should be present for an event to occur.

A sufficient condition is also called a set of conditions that will produce an event. Necessary comes under the type noun or an adjective.

It applies to something in life without which a condition in our life cannot be fulfilled. In philosophy, necessary means a modal property of a true proposition.

Necessary action is taken with respect for a result required to be caused. Many people confuse necessary with need. But the need is a requirement for something.

Necessary can be easily used in our daily sentences. There are lots of examples available on the internet which will help you to identify where you need to use necessary and where you should not.

Because some people confuse necessary with essential and use them in the place of essential. 

Self-control is necessary for human life. If we fail to control ourselves, then it will lead to many consequences in life.

Sometimes controlling our emotions, anger, and happiness will help us in certain situations. There are times where we should focus on what the other person says instead of thinking about our point is necessary.

In life, the word necessary plays an important role. Taking care of our health and living our life to the fullest is necessary.  

Main Differences Between Essential and Necessary

  1. The importance of essential is we cannot do things without that in life. On the other hand, the importance of necessary is we can do things in our life without that.
  2. An example of essential is, it is essential to understand the rules of grammar. On the other hand, the example of necessary is, it is necessary to understand these concepts.
  3. The word Essential is derived from Middle English. On the other hand, the word Necessary is derived from Latin.
  4. The meaning of essential is stronger. On the other hand, the meaning of necessary is needed.
  5. Essential is not used for referring to the law. On the other hand, necessary is not used for referring law. 
Difference Between Essential and Necessary


Both these are important in life, and humans need to understand the difference between them. Because not everything is needed in life to live.

We can live without some things in our life. So, these things are not necessary.

This helps in understanding necessary. But for living some things are very essential.

Without this, a human being cannot live or survive.

In studies, some things are categorized into necessary and essential. For example, when people start to learn English and are more focused on speaking fluently, they won’t give importance to grammar.

Here grammar will act as the necessary part. But the fluency part is very essential and important.

The main aim of learning is focused on that. 


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/975359
  2. https://www.lextutor.ca/cover/papers/laufer_1989.pdf
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