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Grammar Masterclass #8: Affect vs. Effect

10 JUL
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Stop! Grammar Time!

Welcome to the eighth instalment of our Grammar Masterclass series.

Now, this one’s a tricky one - it’s ‘Affect vs. Effect’. If you’ve ever mixed these words up no one can really blame you. It is difficult. This is a common mistake because, not only do these two words sound so similar, they also have very similar meanings.

Both ‘Affect’ and ‘Effect’ describe action. However, the subtle distinction lies in the who (or what) is the responsible for the action (the affector), versus who (or what) experiences the consequences of the action (the effected).

Sounds complex. Handily, we’ve gone and made this infographic to make things a bit easier to understand…


Grammar Masterclass - Affect vs. Effect


Annoyingly - and typically in our weird and wonderful language - affect and effect both have alternative meanings (as detailed in the white box at the bottom of the graphic). These, however, are much rarer usages. So, whilst it is useful to be aware of them, nine times out of ten just remembering the active (affect) and passive (effect) rule will steer you right.

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Why not check out our other Grammar Masterclass blogs: