Show and Tell for Parents
Search Site: 
Parents Teachers
By Susan Darst Williams
Parental Involvement
Ages & Stages
Coaching Your Child
Discipline & Safety
Health, Nutrition & Fitness
Homework Helpers
Curriculum & Instruction
Teachers & Teaching
Other School Staff
Special Learners
School Management
Finance & Taxation
Government & Politics
Private Schools
Choice & Charters
Learning on the Go
Community Involvement
Education Heroes
Bright Ideas for Change
Site Map

Parental Involvement Lite

Parents, Kids & Books

Great Books for Kids

Character Education

Writing Tips


Wacky Protests

School Humor
Home | Purpose | Ask A Question | Subscribe | Forward | Bio | Contact | Print

Grammar Granny        < Previous        Next >


'Affect' Vs. 'Effect'


A citizen received a letter from a state senator with a common spelling error. He confused "affect" and "effect."


He wrote, "I am reviewing both the contents of the bill and the affect it would have."


The senator meant "effect" when he wrote "affect." The bill would have an "effect," not an "affect."


"Effect" is usually a noun, meaning "result." It is something that is caused by something else - a consequence. It also can mean the power to produce results. Examples: "her smile had the effect of making him blush," or "his protest had no effect."


"Affect" is usually in verb form. It means "to act on, change or influence." Weather affects the success of picnics; too much chocolate affects your waistline. It has other meanings, too, but that's the main one.


Here's where the confusion comes in: "effect" can be a verb, too, meaning "to bring about" or "accomplish." Example: "the new manager effected the transition to new machines." He didn't "affect" the transition - that would mean that he "resulted" it.


To help avoid this confusion, just avoid using "effect" as a verb. It's a weak, passive construction, anyway. Use a more precise word, such as "achieved" or "produced."


The net EFFECT of recognizing the differences between "effect" and "affect" will probably AFFECT how smart other people think you are. Maybe that state senator would be more . . . EFFECTIVE . . . if he recognized that.


By Susan Darst Williams Grammar Granny 044 2007


Grammar Granny        < Previous        Next >
^ return to top ^
Individuals: read and share these features freely!

Publications: please contact to arrange for reprint rights to these copyrighted news stories and features.


 Links to Learn More 

 Enrichment Ideas 

 Nebraska Schooling 
 Humor Blog 
 Glimpses of God 
Copyright © 2018
Website created by Web Solutions Omaha