Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Are you easily AFFECTED by the movies you watch? Do the movies that you
watch usually have an EFFECT on how you think about your life and the world?

Some words in English sound so much alike that they're confused with each other a lot. Because of this, they're often used incorrectly. AFFECT and EFFECT are examples of this. However, the explanation is usually quite simple that if you remember, you'll never be confused again. After going through this lesson, you should know exactly which of these two words to use if you have to use either of them in the future.

With AFFECT and EFFECT, it's just a matter of which part of speech you need to use because these two words mean the same. AFFECT is a verb, while EFFECT is a noun, but both of them mean to have some influence on something or on someone.

Here's an example of two pairs of questions and answers that mean the same. However, one uses AFFECT (the verb), while the other uses EFFECT (the noun).

     a. How did the movie AFFECT you?
         It really AFFECTED me emotionally. I cried for hours after watching it.

     b. What kind of EFFECT did the movie have on you?
         It really had an emotional EFFECT on me. I cried for hours after watching it. 

When you're practicing new vocabulary, it helps to remember words that go well with the new words, so here are some collocations to help you use these words correctly.

     Have an EFFECT
     Have an emotional EFFECT
     Have a PROFOUND (deep; intense) EFFECT
     Result in a negative EFFECT
     Produce a positive EFFECT

     AFFECT her emotionally
     AFFECT him profoundly
     AFFECT them negatively

Check out the first three examples and then fill in the blanks with either EFFECT or AFFECT. The answers are below, but don't cheat!

1. The movie had a profound EFFECT on her. She couldn't stop talking about it for days.
2. The medicine tasted horrible, but the EFFECT was immediate.
3. He was surprised that the president's speech AFFECTED his students profoundly. They had plenty of questions afterwards.
4. Alcohol has a slow but lingering __________ on him. He doesn't get drunk easily but when he does, it takes him awhile to sober up.
5. Seeing the crime committed _________ her sense of safety walking around the city.
6. It seems like their constant complaining has had no _______ on the manager whatsoever.
7. Luckily, their street remained intact, but most of the houses on the other streets were greatly _______ by the tornado.
8. The new rules don't really ________ them because they're leaving the company soon.
9. His mood is easily ______ by the music he's listening. 
10. The farmers fear that the drought is now having an irreversible _______ on their crops.


So, did you find this lesson useful? Use the buttons below to share this with your friends, then share your sentences using EFFECT & AFFECT on NYLC's page on Facebook, @NYLangCenter on Twitter or here below! Hey, why not? :-) 

FYI (For your (further) information): Don't get confused, but EFFECT also has a verb form, but it's meaning is slightly different from AFFECT. EFFECT the verb means to cause something to happen as a result. 

Check out the difference between the first two sentences and the third one. 
     The workers' complaints had a strong EFFECT on the company president.
     The workers' complaints AFFECTED the company president's final decision.
     The workers' complaints EFFECTED a change in company policy. (resulted in; caused something to happen)

Alright, folks. Until next time.
--Joe Yu, ESL instructor