Friday, May 01, 2009

Friday Grammar Lesson

First of all, holy cow! It's May 1st! Where did April go? Wow. Just wow. Does anybody actually do Maypoles anymore?

Secondly, affect vs effect. I think we all get stuck on that one once in a while.

I hope this helps:

1. If you are talking about a result, then use the word "effect."

  • Example: What effect did the weather have on the parade?

2. It is appropriate to use the word "effect" if one of these words is used immediately before the word: into, no, take, the, any, an, or and.

  • Example: The prescribed medication had no effect on the patient's symptoms.
  • Example: In analyzing a situation, it is important to take the concepts of cause and effect into consideration.

3. If you want to describe something that was caused or brought about, the right word to use is effect.

  • Example: The new manager effected some positive changes in the office. (This means that the new manager caused some positive changes to take place in the office.)

4. Affect can be used as a noun to describe facial expression.

  • Example: The young man with schizophrenia had a flat affect.
  • Example: The man took the news of his wife's sudden death with little affect.

5. Affect can also be used as a verb. Use it when trying to describe influencing someone or something rather than causing it.

  • Example: How does the crime rate affect hiring levels by local police forces?
  • Example: The weather conditions will affect the number of people who come to the county fair this year.


  1. I like your maypole picture better than mine:) Thanks for a good reminder of similar words-- I know better but mess them up all the time probably!

  2. ooh affect sounds like a tricky one, thanx.

  3. Look at those beautiful ribbons! I wonder as you do if any schools still do them.

    Great lesson!

  4. Great post! I actually rememeber this one pretty well but I see it misused alot.

    Your comment on Jennifer's blog cracked me up.

  5. Wow. So I do know how to spell remember. LOL!

  6. Throws me every time. And JUST when I think I GET it, I mess it all up.

  7. Here's another tip for affect: If you are planning to use the verb impact for something other than a car crashing headlong into a building or similar event, use affect instead. Overuse of impact is one of my personal pet peeves, in case you couldn't tell.

  8. I thought I had a good handle on that one, but after reading number 3, I think I might have made a boo-boo here and there. :)