affect vs effect : Common Errors in English

About affect vs effect

There are five distinct words here. When “affect” is accented on the final syllable (a-FECT), it is usually a verb meaning “have an influence on”: “The million-dollar donation from the industrialist did not affect my vote against the Clean Air Act.” Occasionally a pretentious person is said to affect an artificial air of sophistication. Speaking with a borrowed French accent or ostentatiously wearing a large diamond ear stud might be an affectation. In this sort of context, “affect” means “to make a display of or deliberately cultivate.” Another unusual meaning is indicated when the word is accented on the first syllable (AFF-ect), meaning “emotion.” In this case the word is used mostly by psychiatrists and social scientists—people who normally know how to spell it. The real problem arises when people confuse the first spelling with the second: “effect.” This too can be two different words. The more common one is a noun: “When I left the stove on, the effect was that the house filled with smoke.” When you affect a situation, you have an effect on it. The less common is a verb meaning “to create”: “I’m trying to effect a change in the way we purchase widgets.” No wonder people are confused. Note especially that the proper expression is not “take affect” but “take effect”—become effective. Hey, nobody ever said English was logical: just memorize it and get on with your life.The stuff in your purse? Your personal effects.The stuff in movies? Sound effects and special effects.

affect Meaning(s)

  • (v) have an effect upon
  • (v) act physically on; have an effect upon
  • (v) make believe with the intent to deceive
  • (v) have an emotional or cognitive impact upon
  • (n) the conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion
  • (v) connect closely and often incriminatingly

effect Meaning(s)

  • (n) a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon
  • (n) an outward appearance
  • (n) an impression (especially one that is artificial or contrived)
  • (n) the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
  • (n) (of a law) having legal validity
  • (n) a symptom caused by an illness or a drug
  • (v) produce
  • (v) act so as to bring into existence

affect in News

  1. How Does the Moon Affect the Tides?

    How or why does the phase of the moon affect the tides? … Continue reading »
    on June 13, 2013 Source: NewsWatch 12 Medford - Klamath Falls

  2. A Supreme Court decision that may affect prescription prices

    Among the many important Supreme Court decisions this month is one that could affect what you may pay for generic medications at your pharmacy.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: National Constitution Center via Yahoo! News

  3. Colorado wildfires affect air quality and your health

    When wildfires affect the air quality across Colorado, they can also create major problems for your health. Those who suffer...
    on June 12, 2013 Source: FOX 31 Denver

effect in News

  1. Heat advisory in effect for Myrtle Beach area

    A heat advisory is in effect for the Myrtle Beach area Thursday afternoon, according to forecasters with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The Myrtle Beach Sun News

  2. Jailing of reporters has "chilling effect" on Turkish media: OSCE

    By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - The imprisonment of journalists is having a "chilling effect" on Turkey's media, which exercised self-censorship during this month's anti-government protests, Europe's main rights and democracy watchdog said. Dunja Mijatovic, representative for media freedom at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said 67 journalists were behind bars ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Reuters via Yahoo! News

  3. Mass Effect 3 under $5

    In a 24 hour only special the Mass Effect 3 PC download can be had for only $4.81 at Green Man Gaming. Today the game got a 69% discount off the usual $19.99 list price, dropping it to $6 instantly....        
    on June 13, 2013 Source: I4U

Lightning fast vocabulary building for SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT and CAT