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Affect vs Effect

Among the pairs of words writers often confuse, affect and effectmight be the most perplexing, perhaps because their meanings are so similar. Affect, derived from affectus, from the Latin word afficere, “to do something to, act on,” is easily conflated with effect, borrowed from Anglo-French, ultimately stemming from the Latin wordeffectus, from efficere, “to bring about.” Affect The various senses of affect, each followed by a sentence demonstrating them, follow: A noun meaning “mental state”: “In his report, the psychiatrist, noting his lack of expression or other signs of emotion, described his affect as flat.” A verb meaning “to produce an effect, to influence”: “I knew that my opinion would affect her choice, so I deliberately withheld it.” A verb meaning “to pretend” or “to put on”: “She tried to affect an air of nonchalance, though she was visibly agitated.” Words with affect as the root, followed by their use in a sentence, include the following: Affectation: A noun meaning “self-conscious behavior”: “The girl’s affectation of sophisticated maturity was undercut by the relentless snapping of her chewing gum.” Affection: A noun meaning “kind or loving emotion”: “Her grandfather’s deep affection for her was obvious in his heartwarming smile.” Disaffected: An adjective meaning “discontented, rebellious”: “Disaffected youth dismayed by the poor job market and the larger issue of a society that does not seem to value them have been joining the protest movement in ever greater numbers.” (This word is a case of an antonym that has outlived the original term from which it was derived in counterpoint; writers and speakers no longer express, in the sense of “favorably disposed,” that a person is affected.) Unaffected: An adjective with two distinct senses: the literal meaning of “not influenced or altered” (“They seemed disturbingly unaffected by the tragic news”) and the surprisingly older, figurative meaning “genuine” (“The youth’s candid, unaffected demeanor appealed to her after the stilted arrogance of her many suitors”). Effect The various senses of effect, each followed by a sentence demonstrating them, follow: A noun meaning “the result of a cause”: “The effect of the lopsided vote was a loss of confidence in the chairman.” A noun meaning “an impression”: “The soft, gentle tone has a calming effect.” A noun, usually in plural form, meaning “personal property, possession”: “Among the effects found in the deceased man’s pockets was a small book with his name self-inscribed.” A verb meaning “to accomplish”: “His newfound sense of responsibility effected a positive change in her attitude toward him.” Words with effect as the root, followed by their use in a sentence, include the following: Aftereffect: A noun, usually in plural form, meaning “something that follows a cause”: “The aftereffects of the decision are still being felt years later.”

which made for a pleasant outing. ." Common Uses of Affect and Effect Most of the time. though not based on the rooteffect. which is rare and has lost its antonym.” The noun efficiency and the adjective efficient." or "The rain affected Amy's hairdo. Yes." Affect can also mean. but to me the meaning "a result" seems to be at the core of all the definitions. I want to explain the difference between the two words: The majority of the time you use affect with an a as a verb and effect with an e as a noun. "The effect was eye-popping. the mnemonic involves a very easy noun to help you remember: aardvark. Why? Because the first letters of "a very easy noun" are the same first letters as "affect verb effect noun!" That's a very easy noun. and now we can get to the mnemonics. and it is by far the most requested grammar topic." or "The sound effects were amazing. but for now let's focus on the common meanings. through long disuse. and I'll get to those later. respectively. Affect (with an a) verb effect (with an e) noun. Feck is a shortened form of effect developed in Scottish English. so I have a few mnemonics and a cartoon to help you remember. feckful. Another. "to act in a way that you don't feel.affect is a verb andeffect is a noun. you'll be right 95% of the time. What Is the Difference Between Affect and Effect? Before we get to the memory trick though. "The arrows affected Aardvark." as in. “productivity” and “productive” in the sense of accomplishing something with a minimum of effort in relation to outcome. share its etymological origin and mean. Efficacy (“the power to produce a desired effect”) andefficacious (“able to produce a desired effect”) are also related. This is an expanded show based on the original episode covering when to use affect with an a and when to use effect with an e. most of the time. "She affected an air of superiority. First.” Effectual: An adjective meaning “able to produce a desired effect”: “Our conclusion is that mediation is an effectual strategy for obtaining a mutually satisfying outcome. you can say. roughly. There are rare instances where the roles are switched." When Should You Use Effect? Effect with an e has a lot of subtle meanings as a noun. For example. Affect Versus Effect When to use affect and effect is one of the most common questions I get. worthless”).Effective: An adjective meaning “successful”: “The insect repellent was effective at keeping the mosquitoes at bay." as in. When Should You Use Affect? Affect with an a means "to influence. unexpected word of related origin is feckless (“weak. and my impression from your questions is that most people have trouble remembering the basic rules of when to use these words. I get asked whether to use affect or effect all the time. so if you stick with those." or "The rain had no effect on Amy's hairdo. affect with an a is a verb and effect with an e is a noun. if you can remember aardvark—a very easy noun—you'll always remember that affect with an a is a verb and effect with an e is a noun. So. This is "Quick and Dirty" grammar.

If you can visualize the sentences. arrow and aardvark. "She displayed a happy affect. "Aardvark hoped to effect change within the burrow. And. and it's cute. The illustration of the example is from my new book."But why Aardvark?" you ask." Psychologists find it useful because they know that you can never really understand what someone else is feeling." it's pretty easy to see that affect with an a is a verb and effect with an e is a noun. You can print it out and hang it by your desk. affect can be used as a noun when you're talking about psychology--it means the mood that someone appears to have. It's Aardvark being affected by arrows. effect can be used as a verb that essentially means "to bring about. eyepopping." It should be easy to remember that affect with an a goes with the a-words. Because there's also an example to help you remember. you could say." For example." . and the example will help you see how to use both words in a sentence Rare Uses of Affect and Effect So what about those rare meanings that don't follow the rules I just gave you? Well. You can only know how they appear to be feeling. The effect was eye-popping. and that effect with an e goes with the e-word. So a very easy noun will help you remember that affect with an a is a verb and effect with an e is a noun. "The arrows affected the aardvark." or "to accomplish. It's "The arrows affected Aardvark. For example. and I think looking at it will help you remember the example sentences. The effect was eyepopping.