Archive for: ‘November 2010’

Confusables: Affect vs Effect/Accept vs Except

November 29, 2010 Posted by admin

Certain word pairs in the English language are so similarly spelled and pronounced they can be easily confused. Below we’ll take a look at two frequently misused sets.

Affect vs Effect
This one trips up many native speakers. Learning how the affect vs.effect definition differs will help. ‘Affect’ is ALWAYS a verb which means, “to influence, to produce an effect on something or someone.” ‘Effect’ is usually a noun; it means “the result.” When functioning as a verb, effect means “to produce or make happen.” Here’s a handy tip: in a sentence ‘effect’ is often preceded by a, an, any, the, take, into, and no. See if the following affect vs.effect examples clarify your understanding:

The young child’s laughter affected her mother. (verb; affected = influenced)
The young child’s laughter effected a hug from her mother. (verb; effected = produced)
The effect of the hug was more laughter from the child. (noun; effect = result)
New legislation will go into effect after the new year. (into precedes effect)
How do the special effects in 3D movies affect you? (effects — noun; affect = influence)

Accept vs Except
Choosing correctly between these two is also easier once the definitions are memorized. ‘Accept’ is a verb, meaning “to receive or believe.” ‘Except’ is a preposition which means “other than.”

John accepted the truth after a long struggle.
In the mountains, it snows every month except July.