Grammar Tip: "Affect" vs "Effect"

There are many words in the English language the meanings of which are commonly confused. This is a page about the grammar tip: "affect" vs "effect".
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April 7, 2010

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".

"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."

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Hope this little mnemonic helps - happy writing!

JustPlainJo, Springfield, OH

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