Affect, Effect

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Affect, Effect

“Exhortations in the style guide had no effect (noun) on the number of mistakes; the level of mistakes was not affected (verb) by exhortations in the style guide; we hope to effect (verb) a change in this.” – The Guardian Book of English Language.

Climate change is affecting the planet Earth; the effects of it are erratic rains, rise in sea levels, and unpredictable weather patterns among others.

Drink driving affects drivers.

Corruption has detrimental effects on the society.

Affect and effect are words that they may cause confusion. They are not interchangeable words. An easier way to remember the difference between affect and effect is to know their parts of speech: which one is the verb and which one is the noun.

Affect is a verb including affecting. It is mostly used in several contexts as a verb. It has more than two meanings and depends upon the usage of the word in a sentence. Affect means having an influence on something or somebody; to produce an effect, to influence, deliberate ignorance or pretence (in American English it is pretense), making someone to react in a moving and touching way, show off, not natural.

In psychological context affect as a noun means an emotion, a feeling; having an influencing behaviour, or action. Affectation is noun. It means unnatural way of behaving or speaking solely to impress others or to give an effect of impression.

Effect is mostly used as a noun. It means as a result of, influence, consequence, because of, an outcome as a result of something; an impression on the mind by a movie or a painting. But as a verb it refers to make it happen (The Prime Minster’s economic reforms effected foreign investment and farmers’ suicides?).

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Effects is a plural noun, which means, personal possessions and property. Their household effects were stolen by roving thieves.

The word ‘effect’ forms idioms as well: Into effect: it means to bring or put something into use.  Come into effect: of laws, rules, and regulations, byelaws.  Example: Laws against domestic abuse are there but rarely do they come into effect because victims refrain from reporting to the authorities.

Effect as a verb means to effect: They teachers effected profound change among the unruly pupils.

The derivatives of effect are effective, effectively, effectiveness.

The derivatives of affect are affectively, affectless (adjective), affectlessness (noun), affected (adjective).

Let us not be affected with the effect of too much news!