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Effect Vs Affect

(27 Posts)
Mistoffelees Fri 20-Oct-17 22:56:14

My understanding of grammar isn't too bad but this is one that I always struggle with. I know the general rule and have read any number of 'easy ways to remember' but can never seem to apply it correctly. Can someone explain it in very easy to remember terms, preferably with a few examples.

Stinkbomb Fri 20-Oct-17 22:58:48

I think effect is before the event, affect is after - happy to be corrected, trying to remember from 20+ years ago!

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 20-Oct-17 22:59:49

Affect is a verb, meaning 'to influence' or 'to change.'

Effect is a noun, meaning 'the impact' or 'the result.'

Trying to think of examples now!

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 20-Oct-17 23:02:43

Some examples I found online:

The pay increase will greatly affect their lifestyle.

The dampness began to affect my health.

The weather will affect my plans for the weekend.

Move the cursor until you get the effect you want.

The beneficial effects of exercise are well documented.

Over time the effect of loud music can damage your hearing.

magpiemay Fri 20-Oct-17 23:03:47

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who struggles with this!! Very helpful replies... I think I’ve finally got it!

dantdmistedious Fri 20-Oct-17 23:04:03

Affect influences. Effect has influenced. Mostly.

Mistoffelees Fri 20-Oct-17 23:05:03

The sentences I use most often are similar to this- "He has a positive attitude which will have a brilliant effect/affect on his development in academic areas" I usually give up and put influence instead.

Golondrina Fri 20-Oct-17 23:05:54

Because effect is a noun, it will always be preceeded by the, a or an or be plural (effects).

editingfairy Fri 20-Oct-17 23:06:26

Mistofelees - in your example, effect is correct. It's the noun.

Golondrina Fri 20-Oct-17 23:06:46

A brilliant effect, if you need a an or the before then you must use effect.

Mistoffelees Fri 20-Oct-17 23:08:15

Thanks MyBrilliantDisguise only your first reply was there when I replied. So would both of these be correct--
"The pay increase will affect their lifestyle"
"The pay increase will have an effect on their lifestyle"

Golondrina Fri 20-Oct-17 23:08:25

If you are talking about more than one, it's also effects.
"One of the effects of this is...."

dantdmistedious Fri 20-Oct-17 23:08:28

Brilliant effect, otherwise it would have affected him brilliantly.

Squeegle Fri 20-Oct-17 23:08:41

Don't forget you can use effect as a verb too - e.g. The change was effected in January! This means "took place" in this context. Always a tricky one I find smile

LapdanceShoeshine Fri 20-Oct-17 23:09:32

effect can be a verb as well though confused

Mistoffelees Fri 20-Oct-17 23:09:52

Thanks others too, I think I need to come back to this in the morning when I've not had a few glasses of wine!

BeyondTheMoon Fri 20-Oct-17 23:09:57

So in that sentence it's "effect" cos there's an "a (brilliant)" in front - ie. it's a noun which there is one of. Verbs can have 'to' in front of. Not sure if that makes it clearer??

trainedopossum Fri 20-Oct-17 23:10:01

As I get older (on the verge of 50 now), the things I used to know without a moment's hesitation (like effect vs affect) have become a bit blurry and combined with fast typing I make some shocking (to me and any pedant) mistakes.

dantdmistedious Fri 20-Oct-17 23:10:13

I would say the pay increase will affect their lifestyle or have an effect on their lifestyle.

Don't ask me to explain but I think I'm right!

Squeegle Fri 20-Oct-17 23:10:45

Examples here:

Golondrina Fri 20-Oct-17 23:10:59

Forgot about effect as a verb meaning took place, but the general verb/noun rule works well.

Mistoffelees Fri 20-Oct-17 23:11:19

Or should I say, when I'm not affected by/feeling the effects of a few glasses of wine! (Really hoping I've got it right now!)

Golondrina Fri 20-Oct-17 23:12:54

Yes! You're getting the hang of it now!

StealthPolarBear Sat 21-Oct-17 07:34:05

Affect can also be a noun meaning the outward show of emotions. The look on your face is close enough

Vitalogy Sat 21-Oct-17 07:53:14

Glad you started this thread OP.
Hopefully the tips have sunk into my brain!

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