Common Confusion: Affected & Effected

A reader commented on the recent post outlining the differences between the words affect and effect, and asked what distinguishes the words affected and effected. This is a great question and I’m happy to address it!

As previously mentioned, affect is most commonly a verb and effect a noun. The words affected and effectedhowever, are both verbs.

Affected is the past tense of the most common meaning of affect. It means “impacted or changed in some way.”

  • This years cost-cutting initiatives have adversely affected many employees.
  • We are pleasantly surprised to find that the “Lunch and Learn” seminars positively affected our team’s morale.

Effected is the past tense of a less common meaning of the verb effect. It means “brought about, produced or executed.”

  • To ensure our division recruits top Gen Y talent, we effected broad changes.
  • The sales team needed to raise their concerns about the 2013 plan effected by the marketing leaders.

Now it’s your turn! Fill in the blanks with either affected or effected. Then follow @LexWritingFirm on Twitter to see if you’re right! 

  1. Our company sends its best wishes to all those ______ by Hurricane Sandy.
  2. His voracious reading positively ______ his writing skills.
  3. Employees are generally unhappy with the new hiring policy ______ by the recently-appointed HR director. 
  4. Was our stock ______ by the election results?
  5. With the help of my network, I ______ significant changes to the training manual.

One thought on “Common Confusion: Affected & Effected

  1. Pingback: 3 Ways Bad Grammar Hurts Your Career | better writing in business

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