When to Effect a Change in Your Grammar

With so many nuances and tricks to remember within the English language it’s easy to make a mistake.  Following a previous blog entry with AP Style guide tips, I wanted to add a few more tips for writing challenges that everyone can struggle with at times.

How does grammar effect how a news release is read, or will it affect it at all?

All these similarities can easily leave your head spinning!  The difference between affect and effect is somewhat hazy and people will often confuse one with the other.

  • Affect means to have an influence on or cause change in something; it is also used pertaining to diseases.  According to the AP Style book, affect is most commonly used as a verb. For example, “Proper grammar affects how one is viewed in print.”
  • To summarize, effect is used when something brings about a change or a result.  Contrary to the rule for affect, effect is most commonly used as a noun.

For example, “The dimming effect of the lighting created a more intimate feel at the dinner table.”

Here are some guidelines to help make the difference more clear.

1.  Use effect when referring to a result:

“What effect did PRLine have on your grammar?”

2. Use effect when describing a cause or something that’s brought about:

“A positive change was effected in the company when it hired the new employee.”

3. Affect can be used as a verb when describing influence over someone or something:

“How was she affected by the news?”

Now that you’ve got it down, try quizzing yourself!


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