Inter vs. intra

Betty, an admin reader, recently wrote, “My goodness, will you please do a piece that tells people the difference between ‘intra’ and ‘inter’? While you’re at it, ‘effect’ vs. ‘affect’ wouldn’t hurt, either.”

When it comes to effect vs. affect, here’s the rule:

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

To remember the difference between intra and inter, keep in mind interstate highways and company intranets:

Interstate highways take you from one state to another. A company intranet is for employees within the company.

So you can remember that inter means between, and intra means within.

Bottom line: Learning the difference between closely related words is an essential skill for an administrative pro. If you can’t get grammar right, people may wonder about your ability to do the job.

Betty resoundingly agrees: “It can make you and your boss look bad if your written or spoken grammar is incorrect.”