Grammar Repair Shop: effect vs. affect — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Grammar Repair Shop: effect vs. affect

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Rule 1. Use effect as a noun when you mean "result."

Example: "The new budget exerted a chilling effect on our business."

Tip: Use effect when one of these words precedes it: "an," "any," "the," "take," "into," "no." Examples: "Before the new budget takes effect ... " "Out-of-date computers became an unintended effect of the budget freeze."

Rule 2. Use effect as a verb when you mean "bring about," "cause" or "institute."

Example: "The president effected a freeze on our IT expenditures." (The president instituted a freeze.

Rule 3. Use affect when you mean "to influence."

Example: "How will the budget cuts affect staffing?"

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