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  1. #1

    Question Give effect to...

    I am studying for a Secretarial Diploma, and have a query regarding the use of the word "effect".

    My tutor has marked my use of the word "effect" as incorrect in the following sentence:

    "The judge gave effect to .....[an act of law]".

    Instead, she believes I should have written "gave affect to...", which I believe is incorrect. However, she says that she has checked this with a lecturer in communications.

    My Oxford dictionary gives no examples of phrases with the words "give effect to...", but I'm still convinced that I am right and she is wrong. This is important to me because the "error" occurs in an examination piece, but also because I wish to fully understand the reasons why I am either right or wrong.

    Can anyone please provide some clarification?


  2. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 620

    Re: Give effect to...

    Hi "Curious"

    You're absolutely right. "Give effect to" is correct. There's also the expression "take effect".

    If your tutor and the lecturer in communications don't want to take my word for it either (I'm a native speaker and I teach Business English), then you could suggest they check the spelling by googling both "give effect" and "give affect" and then judge which is the better of the two based on the number of results you get from Google. They could also check one of the online dictionaries. For example:

    Keep in mind, native speakers also make mistakes with these two words. In your case, apparently both your tutor and the lecturer in communications have made the same mistake that some native speakers make.

    Good luck in your efforts to convince.

    Last edited by Philly; 09-Jun-2006 at 12:12.

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 28

    Re: Give effect to...

    In my opinion,you are right ,"give effect to "means implementing some acts
    and ,to the opposite of "affect ",it is a verb which can't use like "give affect "

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: Give effect to...


    Here's all the proof you need. give is a ditransitive verb; it takes two objects,

    a direct object
    an indirect object introduced by the preposition to

    Both the indirect object and direct object object are nominal (nouns):

    EX: The Act gave effect to Australia's agreement to implement Guidelines adopted in 1980 ...

    effect (noun) [from Latin efficere to bring about, from ex- out (of) + facere to make, do] the power to bring about a result; the quality or state of being operative; operation <the law goes into effect next week>

    'Affect (noun) [pronunciation: stress on first syllable (unlike verb forms of this word] the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes <he displayed a distressing lack of affect> Note, mainly used in the social sciences by psychologists. gives this definition,
    To give effect to, to make valid; to carry out in practice; to push to its results.

    Law dictionaries give,
    To give effect to, to put into force; enact; to constitute, to implement.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #5

    Smile Re: Give effect to...

    Thank you Philly, your thoughts are much appreciated. I had already done a Microsoft search, but now I've Googled and the results were much better. Thanks to you, I have some wonderful print outs to give to my tutor next week (Googling "give affect to" returns the query "Did you mean give effect to" ) I'm also going to give her copies of my posting and the replies, and I would be surprised if I don't manage to win her over. Thanks for your time and trouble, and for supplying the link to the free dictionary.
    Last edited by Curious Effect; 09-Jun-2006 at 17:54.

  5. #6

    Smile Re: Give effect to...

    Thank you for taking the trouble to reply Waterluo. You have helped to convince me that I hadn't gone mad after all! Thanks again.

  6. #7

    Cool Re: Give effect to...

    Wow, what can I say? Thank you Casiopea for taking the time and trouble to give such a detailed response, it's much appreciated, and I think it's going to put the final nail in the coffin! Thanks for mentioning too, I'll remember that for future reference. Your reply was more than helpful, big thanks!

  7. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: Give effect to...

    You're most welcome, Curious Effect.

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