1. da_ardvark
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    da_ardvark Member

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    Effect VS Affect

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by da_ardvark, Mar 11, 2010.

    I know the meanings of both these words, and yet I still manage to use them in the wrong way. Mostly using effect where affect is proper. Anyone else? What say you?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A bad choice can affect the rest of your life. (verb - to cause a result)
    The effect of that poor choice stays with you. (noun - the results from some action)
    A single person can effect widespread changes. (verb - to bring about or cause. Almost always used with change, or a synonym, as a direct object)
    The patient exhibits a flat affect. (noun - an emotional state or mood)
     
  3. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    How does 'to cause a result' & 'to bring about or cause' differ exactly in their verb form? I have this problem too unfortunately, meh
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just remember:

    affect and effect can be used as either a noun or a verb. But they are different in meaning.

    Actually, as a verb 'affect' has a few different meanings when you think about it:
    to cause/to act on + OBJECT. Just think:
    The weather affected morale
    The music affected me.
    OR it means to assume or pretend:
    She affected a false veneer of sophistication.

    'effect' as a verb means to bring about or accomplish a result. Like Cogito says, use it in the collocation 'to effect a change'. I can't think of any other circumstance that I'd use 'effect' as a verb, in fact.

    The noun 'effect' = the result or consequence of something:
    One effect of lack of sleep is poor concentration.

    The noun 'affect' is only used in the field of psychology or something related, as in Cogito's example. Otherwise, don't try to use it as a noun.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the effect of a flat affect can affect one's effective show of affection, effectively...
     
  6. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    What everyone above has said is true, but if yu're ever confused, just use "impact" or some other word that means what you're trying to say.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you do that every time you run into a problem, how will you ever learn?

    Get into the habit of using dictionaries and similar resources.
     
  8. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    I am for the most part but not for double-checking my understanding of basic words i don't usually think twice about.. that much i could brush up on, true.

    im still a little confused, but significantly less so. i asked the way i did so they could be more directly compared to each other, w/o referencing to their homophonic, noun counterparts.

    it seems like the result of 'effect' is more defined & final, while 'affect' is more momentary or inconsequential? that's kinda what im gettin from this. its affect im more confused about really.

    could someone maybe use them in a sentence?

    im not trying trying to hijack this thread. i just thought it was good question
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the effect of losing a loved one can be devastating...

    losing a loved one can affect you emotionally...

    he was deeply affected by the speech...

    the effect of the speech upon him was easy to see...

    the patient's flat affect showed that he was not affected by the photo...

    the photo's effect on the patient was not evident in his demeanor...

    ...does that help?
     
  10. BBWalter
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    BBWalter Member

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    These two words give me difficulty from time to time. I was glad to see a thread posted here concerning the two. Great examples! I have a somewhat clearer understanding now.

    B
     
  11. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    I'm glad im not the only one, lol

    Kinda of, yeah - much more than i did, definitely; thank you, everyone.


    edit - ok, cool. found this, which cleared it up for me a bit. forgive it bein out of context:

    from the wiktionary affect page: "Affect and effect are sometimes confused. Affect conveys influence over something that already exists, but effect indicates the manifestation of new or original ideas or entities"

    from the effect page (slightly different): "Effect is often confused with “affect”. The latter is used to convey the influence over existing ideas, emotions and entities; the former indicates the manifestation of new or original ideas or entities"
     
  12. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Great question! Now I know the answer - thanks :). Been wondering this myself for awhile now.
     

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