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Word comparisons

Note 11 – Affect and Effect (as verbs)

This blog is about affect and effect as verbs and tomorrow I will research affect and effect as nouns. 

All my research today, on working out when to use affect and effect, has led me to many lengthy definitions for each word, which made me realise why this is so difficult for people to understand.  I’ll attempt to keep your attention today by breaking it down a bit.  If I could at least get across a couple of definitions of effect and affect and use them in some sentences, then that would be start don’t you think? 

I also thought it best to split the blog over two days to let these examples sink in, before adding more definitions and examples using affect and effect in the noun form.

Where effect and affect are VERBS

To effect
To affect 

According to Bernard C. Lamb in his bookThe Queen’s English, using the verb effect causes problems for people.  He defines the two verbs as follows:

To effect is to bring something about, to bring completion.”
To affect is to have some influence on.”

Comparing right and wrong spellings using the verbs effect and affect

Consider the following sentences:

Example 1: Rain effects/affects the wedding pictures if they are taken outside.

Explanation: Rain doesn’t bring about or cause the wedding pictures, but it may have some influence on them, which makes the correct word affects.

Example 2: The cat effected/affected the death of the mouse.

Explanation: In this scenario, the cat didn’t just have influence on the death of the mouse, but it certainly brought about the death of the mouse, which makes the correct word effected

My thoughts:  I’ve always taken a bit of a guess about when to use affect and when to use effect (I had a bit of an idea, but most of the time just put the word down that sounded right).  It has been a bit of a challenge today as there is a lot of information out there and many definitions and ways you can use the words affect and effect in writing.  Hopefully I have presented the information in such a way that you and I will remember it.  Please feel free to comment is anything is unclear. 

Until tomorrow


Reference list

Bernard C. Lamb The Queen’s English (2010), UK

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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


One thought on “Note 11 – Affect and Effect (as verbs)

  1. I really like reading a post that can make men and women think.
    Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

    Posted by Monica | December 22, 2012, 11:48 pm

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