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Grammar Tip: "Affect" vs "Effect"

You're going to get tired of hearing this, but it remains true: speaking and writing well makes you more marketable in today's tough job market. Potential employers like to see "strong English skills" on a resume or application. Here's another set of commonly-confused words: "affect" and "effect".

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"Affect" is an action word. If you connect the A in action with the A in "affect", that should help you remember which word to use. For example, "Jo's work ethic will affect her paycheck in a positive way."

"Effect", on the other hand, is used either as a noun, or with the verb have or one of its forms. For example, "Jo's work ethic will have a positive "effect" on her paycheck." Or, "The effect of Jo's work ethic on her paycheck will be a positive one."

Hope this little mnemonic helps - happy writing!

JustPlainJo, Springfield, OH

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April 7, 20100 found this helpful

Another one I see many confuse is their and there.

ie:

Their car is in the shop, Park the car over there.

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

Give us more! Your tips are wonderful!

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

Here's the one that irks me the most: "to" and "too". Remember by thinking "go to" someplace...one "O" in each. But "TOO" has the extra "O", so tooooo many O's means toooo much of something.

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

There (place) is here (place) with a" T" in front. Not sure if that helps anybody...

Marg from England.

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

Another pet peeve: putting apostrophes where they don't belong.

How many times have you seen something similar to this: " On Sale! Grape's" " The dog is licking it's paws."...and so on?

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"It's" is a contraction--the shortened version of "it is". Before using it, ask youself if "it is" would sound right in place of it in your sentence.

For the sentence above using "grape's" incorrectly: the apostrophe and "s" written this way denote possession, e.g. "The grape's color is purple." would be correct if you're looking at one grape; "The grapes' color is purple." is right if there's a bunch of grapes on the table.

If it's just "a bunch of grapes"--that's all you need. The "s" is attached to the word to indicate a plural, more than one thing.

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

Love it!

The misuse of "their", "they're", and "there" really gets to me. The incorrect use of "your" and "you're" also irks me a great deal.

Don't get me started on Internet slang!

Great post.

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April 8, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks, I love all this great feedback!

Another pet peeve of mine: misusing "you and I" and "you and me." For example, "It really made a difference to you and I." Since when would someone ever say "It made a real difference to I?" My SS teacher mixes this one up all the time - it's like nails on a chalkboard!

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January 19, 20140 found this helpful

'Loose' when it should be 'lose'

'Could of' instead of 'could have'.

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January 19, 20140 found this helpful

Loose when it should be lose. Could of when it should be could have. Different to when it should be different from. No-one could be so sloppy in Maths, why do so many people think it doesn't matter in English?

Marg from England.

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