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  1. #1
    Neo
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    Affect / effect.. What is the difference?

    Is it just a matter of context?
    As a native speaker I'm able to use the words correctly in the right context,
    but I'll be damned if I can explain why or what are the grammatical rules.
    Is it just another idiosyncrasy of English that has arisen over the centuries?
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    Affect | Define Affect at Dictionary.com

    Effect | Define Effect at Dictionary.com

    Affect 1 and effect, each both noun and verb, share the sense of “influence,” and because of their similarity in pronunciation are sometimes confused in writing. As a verb affect 1 means “to act on” or “to move” ( His words affected the crowd so deeply that many wept ); affect 2 means “to pretend” or “to assume” ( new students affecting a nonchalance they didn't feel ). The verb effect means “to bring about, accomplish”: Her administration effected radical changes.
    Last edited by Marmite the Dog; 25-06-2012 at 08:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Valve Master
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    Affect is a verb, meaning to cause something to happen. Effect is a noun, which is the result of having happened. Here are two sentences that illustrate:

    Mary wondered if her tutoring of John would beneficially affect his grades. ( "Affect" to cause his grades to improve --Verb)

    John got an A on his exam, due to the positive effect of Mary's tutoring. ("Effect" the positive result of Mary's tutoring -- Noun)
    .
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    .

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    The guy constantly affected an air of smug thainess that had the effect of causing others, even thai's, to think he was a tosser.

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    Kiwis wouldn't know the difference, - and that's a fect

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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer
    Affect is a verb, meaning to cause something to happen. Effect is a noun, which is the result of having happened.
    They can both be used as nouns & verbs, but in general, you're right.

  7. #7
    lom
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    Quote Originally Posted by allen04
    They are both words. Effect meaning is something that have been happened and Affect meaning is something obsolete: feeling, affection.
    So "The effect will be......." is something that already has happened?

    I think it is better if native English speakers explains the difference, not Thais.
    Marmite did a good explanation.

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    One of my students asked me exactly the same question at the weekend. I told her the short, general answer: usually, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. No point in complicating the explanation at her level.

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    ^ Then how do you expect to effect any change in her ability?

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    Quote Originally Posted by benbaaa
    usually, affect is a verb and effect is a noun
    Crap answer.

    "Teacher, what is the difference between eat and pencil?"
    "Well, eat is usually a verb whilst pencil is usually a noun"


    You lot are fukin retards, you do know that don't you...

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    Ok...you caught me out. I forgot to include the word "usually". I'll pencil you in for a green when I have ammo.

  12. #12
    Neo
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    Thanks all, will stick to the general rule then.

    Affect = verb
    Effect = noun

  13. #13
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    My laughter during her Tae Kwon Do exam affected her concentration, the effect was that she failed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by benbaaa
    usually, affect is a verb and effect is a noun
    Crap answer.

    "Teacher, what is the difference between eat and pencil?"
    "Well, eat is usually a verb whilst pencil is usually a noun"


    You lot are fukin retards, you do know that don't you...
    It wasn't a problem with the referential meaning, but her mixing up her effects and affects in sentences. If she'd been mixing up her eats and pencils, we'd have had a lot more to discuss.

    And anyway, I was hungry and wanted to get home to a nice supper.
    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

  15. #15
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo View Post
    Thanks all, will stick to the general rule then.

    Affect = verb
    Effect = noun
    No. They are both about influence, but the nuance is that affect is more like "to move"; and effect is more like "to accomplish".

    Verbs

    Affect = to cause a feeling to occur (physical or emotional)
    To affect someone/something = to have an influence a change on something, physically or emotionally

    e.g.: - affected by cold, by pain, and by depression


    Effect = to make something happen
    To effect a change = to actively make a change happen


    Nouns
    Affect = the results of a change or event in terms of symptoms or feelings
    (also Affectation = a poncy goatie or way of walking often practiced by sexual deviants)

    Effect = the results of a change or event caused a specific cause, agent, actor (i.e. person or event)

    e.g.: the after-effects of the earthquake were simulated with special effects, and the drama affected the audience profoundly.

    (also, Effects = personal belongings, like all those dirty schoolgirls' knickers you keep in that dusty leather suitcase in the loft).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1F2i0rYMj8

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

  16. #16
    Neo
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    Cheers

  17. #17
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    special effects have a strange affect on me

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo
    They are both about influence, but the nuance is that affect is more like "to move"; and effect is more like "to accomplish".
    Quote Originally Posted by bash street gang
    special effects have a strange affect on me
    It's obviously not that simple; dictionnary style definitions should not be used as a teaching method, imho...

    Words are not easy to teach, they take some time, and need some 'playing around' as well as a little linguistics. For these words I might start by telling the g/f: both are verbs and nouns, they might conceiveably by used in other forms too. I like the idea above that they both inherently involve a force dynamic; with affect usually 'acting upon' and effect usually 'acted upon'. But, these words have been around for many years, and thus, like most, if not all, other words, they have developed other meanings; usually, these meanings are parallel in some way or a type of metaphor (used in its widest form) of the original term. At this stage, I'd be onto google and see what real world uses spring up; after playing around with a few pages of google results the g/f should have a fair idea of the meanings, so get her to originate some uses; play around with the words (maybe in the bedroom...), use all the forms you can of both words, extend the word forms if she's able - adverbs, add participles (ing/ed/en/etc). By this stage, the words are starting to be learnt well...
    Last edited by Bettyboo; 28-06-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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  19. #19
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    With so much argument about the difference between "effect" and "affect" does it really matter except in the case of very precise documents.

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    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deronda View Post
    With so much argument about the difference between "effect" and "affect" does it really matter except in the case of very precise documents.

    All depends on whether you wish to utilize the language correctly, or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Deronda View Post
    With so much argument about the difference between "effect" and "affect" does it really matter except in the case of very precise documents.

    All depends on whether you wish to utilize the language correctly, or not.
    Seeing as he appears to be in Adelaide, I'd guess not.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deronda View Post
    With so much argument about the difference between "effect" and "affect" does it really matter except in the case of very precise documents.
    Of course it does, unless you are a fucking illiterate. In any case, there is no argument as to usage since the rules are well defined.

  23. #23
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    might as well use toilet and to let interchangeably

  24. #24
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    What difference does it make if you use affect or effect? Neither word could be used in Thailand with any understanding.

  25. #25
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    Helping Thai students to effectively communicate in English would be something - even if it were not grammatically correct communication.

    So I'd go with the simple noun/verb explanation.

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