Sunday, June 17, 2012

'Effect' vs 'affect'

Affect – effect
Affect and effect are often confused, Warda, even by native speakers of English. The most important thing to remember is that affect is used as a verb and effect is normally used as a noun. When they are used in this way, they are similar in meaning, signifying ‘influence’, ‘impact’ or ‘change’. Compare the following:
  • 'The really hot weather affected everybody’s ability to work.'
  • 'I know my neighbours play loud music late at night, but that doesn’t affect me.I can sleep through anything.'
  • 'The number of tourists travelling to Britain this year has not been affected by the strength of the pound.'
  • 'The tablets which he took every four hours had no noticeable effect on his headache.'
  • 'My words of comfort had little effect. She just went on crying and wouldn’t stop.'
Note: we talk about someone or something having an effect on something or someone. If we use effect as a verb, it means to ‘carry out’ or to ‘cause something to happen’, but it is used only in very formal English. Consider the following:
  • 'Repairs could not be effected because the machines were very old.'

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