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  1. #1
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    Default affect vs. effect

    Could someone tell me the correct use of affect vs. effect in these sentences? My teacher (not English teacher) says they should all be effect, instead of affect ....

    Family history also plays a role and today’s generation of black people still feels the effects of racial discrimination from the past.

    Not enough time has passed for the civil rights movement of the 1960’s to come into full effect.

    By giving preference to skilled laborers, such as physicians, this would increase the “brain drain” effect on other countries (Schaefer, 2008, p. 107).

    The problem that has arisen is where these refugees are settling and the effect it is having on these communities.

  2. #2
    jlinger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: affect vs. effect

    Your teacher is correct.

    affect, n., is a feeling, an emotion (and the emphasis is on the first syllable). As a verb (emphasis on the second syllable) it is to influence (have an effect upon) or pretend (The song affects me; she affects an accent); see: effect. The sentence "These measures may affect savings" could imply that the measures may reduce savings that have already been realized, whereas "These measures may effect savings" implies that the measures will cause new savings to come about. (Thanks to American Heritage Dictionary for this one). Usually, when you affect a situation, you have an effect on it.

    effect is a result (the song has an effect...); vb. is to bring about or result in (She will effect a change if...); verb is synonymous with produce. See affect.

    Source: http://www.stage-door.org/stampact/traps.html

  3. #3
    colloquium is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: affect vs. effect

    the effects

    full effect

    the “brain drain” effect

    the effect


    Three of them should be obvious as they all have an article preceeding them; affect is a verb and never a noun, so you can assume they're correct.

    In the fourth full is an adjective and is modifying a noun (adjectives cannot modify verbs).

    Put simply, affect takes an object: you affect something. Effect is (mainly) a noun, and can be an object of a verb.

    He affected the calculation. (verb)

    He calculated the effect. (object)

  4. #4
    jlinger is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: affect vs. effect

    As I pointed out before, affect can be a noun (and is pronounced with the emphasis on the first sylable). It means a feeling or emotion. I will admit, however, that it is not commonly used this way.

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    Default Re: affect vs. effect

    Affect vs effect are 2 of those words that are just confusing to use. I will be attending graduate school soon and I still get confused!

    The prior posters and your teachers are correct about affect being used primarily as a verb while effect is primarily used as a noun, however there are cases were the opposite can be true as well.

    My wife just did an article on this (The Affect of an Effect…or Something Like That | (un)Enlightened English) that has a detailed explanation.

    Hope this helps!

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