Sarahgricius's Blog

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.

Week Two: Affect versus Effect January 31, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — sarahgricius @ 7:09 PM
  • What did you learn?

One of my weakest points in writing has always been the issue of whether to use affect with an a or effect with e. The cartoon in the beginning was actually funny and a good mnemonic to remember the difference. The true difference between the words are: for majority of the time you use affect with an a as a verb and effect with an e as a noun. The word affect with an a can either mean “to influence” or “to act in a way that you don’t feel.” Two examples are “The rocks affected Rodney” or “He affected an air of superiority.” As opposed to effect with an e, which can mean a lot of subtle meaning as a noun but at the core of all the definitions “a result” best describes the meaning behind the word. An example is “The sound effects were amazing.” The mnemonic phrase “a very easy noun” will always help me remember that the first letters are the same first letters as “affect verb effect noun.” Also the funny cartoons in the beginning are helpful because in the sentences it says “the arrows affected Aardvark” which is easy to remember that affect with an a goes with the a-words, arrow and Aardvark. In the other sentence “the effect was eye-popping,” it is easy to see that the effect with an e is a noun.

  • What surprised you?

In the article, the author spoke of rare uses of affect and effect that surprised me but after reading I am now aware. For example, affect can be used as a noun when talking about psychology because it means the mood that someone appears to have, “He displayed a sad affect.” Also, the word effect can be used as a verb which is defined as “to bring about” or “to accomplish”. An example would be “Tim hoped to effect the change within the government.”

  • What do you want to know more about?

This article personally helped me to remember when to use affect with an a and effect with an e. After the first couple of paragraphs were done, I thought that I would be set but after reading the rare cases I became a little confused. Therefore, I would of liked to have more examples provided for me in those rare cases. I believe the website will help with many more complications I may have when writing and found it to be useful.


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