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Effective Vs. Affective

Effective Vs. Affective: Here's How You Can Tell Them Apart

It is easy to get confused with the proper usage of the words effective and affective as they sound similar, and have similar spelling. However, it is the meaning that splits them apart.
Rajib Singha
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
It's all about the choice of words, their usage and the context where they are used, when it comes to any form of composition, be it for school assignments or for work. An author is primarily graded upon his style of writing, and his choice of words. Not only the words must agree with the rest of the context, they must be used correctly as well. However, it isn't a simple job though, especially, when it comes to the usage of words such as "affective" and "effective". In many instances, it has been noticed that these two words do not find the right justification when they are used in any composition. They are almost like homophones, and they are appreciably close in spelling too. But they stand apart when it comes to their meanings.
What Is the Difference Between Effective and Affective?
# "Effective" and "affective" are adjectives. The former is derived from the noun "effect", and the latter, from the noun "affect".
# The word "effect" when used as a noun, signifies the meaning of an outcome that is triggered by something else thus, its definition goes "A phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon." Let us consider an example, "Inflation always has a major effect on the economy of the country." From here you can infer that for something to be in effect, something else should happen first. Even phenomena such as the greenhouse effect, photoelectric effect, and events such as side effects, after effects, etc., explain the usage of the word.
# On the other hand, the noun "affect" is defined as "The conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion." In simple words, it describes an influence on the mood or state of mind of a person. An important point to make a note of is,"affect" is mostly used as verb. Its usage as a noun is almost entirely limited to psychology. For example, "The boy displayed a happy affect after seeing his pet alive."
Usage of "Affective" and "Effective"
# Given the meaning of the noun "effect", "effective" means to produce something that is intended. In the example, "A pain-killer can be very effective in taking care of a headache", it is understood that the medicine is able to produce results without having the need to influence the mood or state of mind of the patient
# The adjective "affective" is characterized by emotion, as what we can understand from the definition of "affect" as a noun. The example, "The sales person was brilliantly affective in luring the customer to buy his products", shows that the former was able to influence the thinking of the customer so that he approves the product, and decides to buy it. Therefore, the salesperson was an affective person.
Here are some more examples to help you understand the difference between effective and affective.
# "The mosquito spray was not so effective as it was advertised to be!"
# "The words of his mother were affective enough to change his behavior towards life."
# "How effective would be your business proposal for our company this year?"
# "The painting was so affective on his mind that he couldn't help thinking about it the whole day!"
# "Exercise is the most effective way to keep health problems at bay."
# "The words of the politician seem too affective to be true."
# "Effective" communication between partners makes way for a healthy relationship."
# "The loss of her child was affective enough for the mother to fall ill."
It is important to understand that a subject like grammar may not be explained only with the help of certain rules or regulations. The best way to get a hang of it is reading examples as much as we can. Likewise, in order to enhance your understanding about the subject on effective vs. affective go through several examples as the ones mentioned above, and try to form some on your own too.