24/Aug/2006 – Affect vs. Effect   4 comments

Words and Expressions Commonly Misused

Affect. Effect.

By request.

Affect

transitive verb

  1. to produce an effect upon, as
    1. to produce a material influence upon or alteration in
      <paralysis affected his limbs.>
    2. to act upon (as a person or a person’s mind or feelings) so as to effect a response

Effect

transitive verb

  1. to cause to come into being
    <effect a settlement of a dispute>
  2. to bring about often by surmounting obstacles; accomplish; to put into operation
    <the duty of the legislature to effect the will of the citizens>

These two words are often confused because of their similar look and sound.

Affect denotes having an effect or influence <the weather affected everyone’s mood>. The verb effect goes beyond mere influence; it refers to actual achievement of a final result <the new administration hopes to effect a peace settlement>
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

What about the two words as nouns? Though there is a noun version of affect, it is uncommon. The noun you’ll want is effect <the weather had an effect on everyone’s mood>.

Having said that, however, effect is a timid, evasive noun. Why not choose vigorous, succinct expressions ?

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Posted Thursday, August 24, 2006 by Grant in Random

4 responses to “24/Aug/2006 – Affect vs. Effect

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  1. Very interesting…..

  2. nicely done,, i do get this one, but i know a lot of people who don’t ever seem to get it right.. good job once again

  3. Thank you Grant. Unfortunately, the people reading your blog already know how these words differ.

  4. @ Cheryl: Thank you. (If you mean interesting in a good way.) 🙂

    @ Miri: It can be tricky, since the words are so similar and cross parts of speech. Thanks.

    @ Connie D: Well, I do have the smartest readers. Even still, I learned a thing or two as I researched these items.

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