This post is part of a series on grammar and vocabulary. From time to time, I will post short articles highlighting some of the common mistakes that I have seen on presentation slides, and how to avoid them. Today we look at the words “affect” and “effect”.
Each word can be either a noun or a verb. The basic definitions of each (there are others) are set out below:
- Affect (noun): the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion.
- Affect (verb): to have an emotional impact; to have an effect on; to pretend with an intent to deceive.
- Effect (noun): impact; influence; something that follows something else (“cause and effect”).
- Effect (verb): to bring about into being.
I agree with the advice in this article about when to use “affect” or “effect”.
A good rule of thumb is as follows: If you are using the word as a verb, it will most likely be “affect”; if you are using the word as a noun, it will most likely be “effect”.
Remember this tip and your slides will not be adversely affected.