Grammar Repair Shop: Affect vs. effect — 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: Affect vs. effect

Get PDF file

by on
in Workplace Communication

Mary Kay Kinley, of Pueblo, Colo., writes: “Can you tell me how to use effect and affect?”

The way to remember it is this: Most of the time, if you need a verb, the right word is “affect” with an “a.” (To remind yourself of the distinction between the two words, silently pronounce this word with a strong “uh” sound at the beginning.)

Examples: The budget cuts affect our staffing. He affected a British accent.

Most of the time, if you need a noun, the right word is “effect” with an “e.”

Examples: The ad campaign had little effect on consumers. She packed her personal effects and left the office.

The rule: If you affect something, you’ll see the effect. By and large, if you stick with this rule, you’ll be correct.

There are exceptions, of course. Not so frequently, you’ll see “effect” used as a verb: It can mean “to bring about.” Example: “We effected several changes.” And on rare occasions, you’ll see “affect” used as a noun.

Related Articles...

Leave a Comment

 

Previous post:

Next post: