MiR 034 Shorts – Affect or Effect


Welcome to the Mark in Russia podcast, episode #34. I’m trying something new, starting with this podcast. The core reason for my podcast is to help Russian learners of English. I also do some interviews, product reviews and other things, but the core is still teaching English.
I plan to release once a week, every week, a short, perhaps 5 minute podcast dealing with a different specific grammar or usage issue.
It’s important that I give credit for this type of approach to Mignon Fogarty of the Grammar Girl podcast in the US, who has been using this approach, very effectively, for at least 6 years now. I’m just going to gear this approach to my Russian listeners, whereas Mignon gears her approach toward native speakers of English. I’ll have a link to the Grammar Girl Podcast website in the shownotes at markinrussia.com.
I’ll also continue with my interviews and anything else that I feel may be interesting to my viewers, but will now label the new short grammar episodes differently, for example this episode will be labeled; “MiR 034 Shorts_Affect or Effect” The MiR is “Mark in Russia” , “034” is the episode number, the “Shorts” indicates a short grammar point and then the name of the episode. I’m just trying to incorporate some order to my labeling system.
Today I’m going to speak about the difference between Affect and Effect.
I’m not sure if this presents a huge problem for Russian learners of English, but it does present a problem for many native English speakers, so I’ll go out on a limb here and believe that it also causes problems for Russian learners.
As you hopefully know, “Affect” is spelled A-f-f-e-c-t and “Effect” is spelled “E-f-f-e-c-t and today you’ll learn in which situations you use these.
For starters, “Affect” (with an “A”) is a verb and should be used when you need a verb and the meaning is roughly “to influence smb or smth”.
Whereas “Effect” (with an “E”) is a noun and roughly means “the result”
Well, while we may understand verbs and nouns, that still doesn’t mean that we’ll remember which is which when the time comes that we need one or both of the words, so I’ll teach you a little trick that I was once taught and has always helped me.

You need to remember the word “avenue” and remember how it is spelled. The first two letters are “AV”, or think “Affect, Verb” and the next two letters are “EN”, think “Effect, Noun”. This has always worked for me and I hope that if you get confused, that it can also work for you.
Unfortunately, in English there always seem to be some exceptions, and this situation is no exception to this. But, if you use this method, you’ll be right in about 98% of the situations that you are likely to encounter, let “Spell Check” take care of the remaining 2%.

Now for a couple of examples:
“The Greenhouse Effect is a very controversial subject amongst scientists.” Here we use Effect (with an “E”) because we are talking about a result, in other words, a noun.
Here’s a different example, “How we feel, affects how we behave.” Here we use “Affect” with an “A” because here it is a verb, meaning “to influence”.

Here’s a link to the Grammar Girl

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