Affect/Effect Questions

Hi Susan,
Are these sentences correct?  Mary Beth J., Pittsburgh, PA

  1. How would that affect the stream?
  2. What affect would that have on fracturing?
  3. Would this unnamed tributary be affected?
  4. Do you believe the effects of subsidence are there?
  5. Were the effects subsidence and fracturing?

Answer: In your examples,  it helps to think of these sound-alikes as verb (“affect,” meaning to influence or move emotionally) and noun (“effect,” meaning result, consequence).

  1. How would that affect the stream? Correct. “Affect” could be replaced with the verb influence.
  2. What affect would that have on fracturing? Incorrect. You need the noun form, “effect,” meaning result or consequence.
  3. Would this unnamed tributary be affected? Correct. “Affected” could be replaced with the verb influenced.
  4. Do you believe the effects of subsidence are there? Correct. “Effects” could be replaced with the nouns results or consequences.
  5. Were the effects subsidence and fracturing? Correct. “Effects” could be replaced with the nouns results or consequences.

By the way, each of the words has another meaning as well. “Effect” can be a verb meaning to bring about. “Affect” can be used as a noun, a psychology term meaning related to feeling or emotion.


 

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