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what is the actual difference between the words 'effect' and

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joeontheland
879359.  Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:58 pm Reply with quote

what is the actual difference between the words 'effect' and 'affect'.

I personally wouldn't use effect in the following sentence.

The rising sea levels effected the wildlife in the coastal region.

I suppose effect also would be the word of choice when saying something like, the ozone effect.

Also 'further' and 'farther'.

But is either right or wrong? Or is it just a preference

 
zomgmouse
879361.  Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:21 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
The rising sea levels effected the wildlife in the coastal region.

If the wildlife is in the coastal region because of the rising sea levels, then you can use "effect".

The actual difference is... well, their definitions.
effect, n. The result of a cause.
effect, v. To cause.
affect, n. Emotion.
affect, v. To cause a change.

With "further" and "farther", the difference has become looser over time, but "farther" is usually with distance and "further" is more with abstract things (it can also be used as a verb).

 
Gavin
879370.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:56 am Reply with quote

I hate the English language!

 
WordLover
879373.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:27 am Reply with quote

zomgmouse wrote:
Quote:
The rising sea levels effected the wildlife in the coastal region.

If the wildlife is in the coastal region because of the rising sea levels, then you can use "effect".
No, not really. The sea level rise didn't cause the wildlife. But you could say, e.g. "The rising sea levels effected a change in the wildlife's habitat".

zomgmouse wrote:
With "further" and "farther", the difference has become looser over time, but "farther" is usually with distance and "further" is more with abstract things (it can also be used as a verb).
Chambers says that farther etc. are the same as further, etc., and sometimes preferred where the notion of distance is more prominent. It says that farther is a variant (from Middle English ferther) of further that came to be thought of as a comparative of far. That's QI. I thought that farther was the older word and further a (possibly Scottish) variant, but it's the other way around.

There are some senses with "abstract things" where only further will do, as in "further education", "a further point". Furthermore (!), the verb can only be further, as in to further a cause.

 
strukkanurv
879384.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:01 am Reply with quote

I think you'll find that 'effect' is not a verb, therefore, something cannot be 'effected'. The phrase 'The rising sea levels had an effect on the wildlife in the coastal region' is grammatically correct.

'Affect' is a verb, therefore 'The rising sea levels affected the wildlife in the coastal region' is also correct.

 
exnihilo
879385.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:13 am Reply with quote

I think you'll find that effect most certainly is a verb. I'll grant you it's not often used as one, but there are still plenty of instances where it is or can be.

Example:

The prisoner effected his escape with a ladder fashioned from dental floss.


It is also the case that affect is a noun as well as a verb, as zomgmouse said.

 
Posital
879386.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:15 am Reply with quote

I have effected the changes you suggest and am effectively affecting an exceptional limp as a consequential affliction.

With affection,
Pos.

 
Spud McLaren
879422.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:21 am Reply with quote

Not to say with affectation...

 
Bondee
879500.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:18 pm Reply with quote

What about your and you're?

 
Jenny
879549.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:18 pm Reply with quote

Your = belonging to you.

You're = abbreviated form of "you are"

So, you're going to your place of work tomorrow...

To effect (verb) something is to bring it about, so to effect an escape, to effect a change in the law.

An effect (noun) is the result of a cause, or an action, so global warming is the effect of the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (oh yes it is...)

To affect (verb) is to have an influence on or bring about a change in something, so to affect somebody's emotions with a sad story (though there is a rather old-fashioned usage of affect as to make a pretence of something in order to have a particular effect), as in 'he affected an upper-class accent' or 'he affected a limp'.

An affect (noun) is a fairly specialised usage of the word by psychiatrists to mean an outward, observable manifestation of a person's expressed feelings or emotions, so a psychiatrist might describe a patient as showing a flat or bright affect, for example.

 
Jenny
879550.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:23 pm Reply with quote

And while I'm at it...

their = belonging to them

there = a place

they're = short for they are

So - They're going to move to their new house soon because they like it better there.

The following might sound like an odd way to remember which is which but I have known students who found it helpful:

Their includes the word heir - everything belongs to the heir.

There includes the word here, so think of here and there.

Many people can remember to spell heir and here and understand the difference between them readily, because they are not homophones, unlike their and there, so if you draw attention to that part of the word, it acts as a mnemonic.

 
tchrist
879644.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:20 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Your = belonging to you.

You're = abbreviated form of "you are"

So, you're going to your place of work tomorrow...


Your and you’re are not necessarily homophones in all dialects and registers. They usually aren’t so in choral singing, either. However, I believe your and yore (as in ‘days of yore’) usually are. And both these are homophonic with you’re:

ewer¹ = a kind of pitcher or jug

ewer² = an udder

Not that there’s any connection between jugs and udders, mind you.

There’s also eurus, or Eurus, the personification of the East wind (or SE or ESE).

 
Spud McLaren
879647.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:25 pm Reply with quote

tchrist wrote:
... both these are homophonic with you’re:

ewer¹ = a kind of pitcher or jug

ewer² = an udder
That depends on your (!) accent. You're isn't at all like ewer for me.

 
ali
879648.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:26 pm Reply with quote

If you effect a change in something, you affect the thing that is changed.

 
tchrist
879656.  Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:39 pm Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
And while I'm at it...

There includes the word here, so think of here and there.

At the risk of verging on being interesting, it gets way better than that. Three prefixes (wh-, h-, th-) combine with three suffixes (-ere, -ither, -ence) to form nine distinct location-related words English:
  • where, whence, whither
  • here, hence, hither
  • there, thence, thither
Or, looked at the other way:
  • where, here, there
  • whence, hence, thence
  • whither, hither, thither
Each of those combining particles a distinct meaning, and the combination always means what the two isolated particle should mean.

 

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