These two words are often confused. They both have several meanings, but today we will look at their basic meaning of change.
Affect is a verb, basically meaning: cause to change; make a difference to
- The cold weather affected my health.
- If you don’t study it will affect your exam results badly.
- How you dress affects the way people think of you.
Effect is a noun, meaning: a change that is the result of something else
- The cold weather had an effect on my health.
- Hard drugs can have deadly effects.
- Her love letters had no effect on him.
As mentioned above, both words can have other meanings as well, and effect can also be a verb (with a different meaning). Just remember that in the sense of “change” as shown above the noun is effect and the verb is affect.
Here are some words we use in English that are also “international words” – you see and hear them almost everywhere. So even if you are starting to learn English, you already speak it!
Like many words in English, some of these words have been “borrowed” from other languages.
Can you put each of these collective nouns in the right sentence below? You must use each noun once only.
pack | herd | fleet | suite | audience | crowd
1. The farmer moved his __________ of cows to higher ground to avoid the flood.
2. The President and his staff had a __________ of rooms on the top floor.
3. After the concert the __________ clapped loudly.
4. It was difficult to move because there were so many people in the __________.
5. Which navy has the biggest __________ in the world?
6. The casino uses a new __________ of cards for each game.
See Comments for answers.
O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy;
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
William Blake 1757-1827
So the question is: What is “the invisible worm that flies in the night”?
Advice is a noun:
- He did not accept my advice.
Advise is a verb:
- The doctor advised her to stop work.
A stationer sells stationery (writing paper, envelopes and other office materials).
- You’ll find some envelopes in the stationery cupboard.
Stationary is an adjective meaning “not moving”.
- The car hit a stationary bus.
In American English “practice” is a verb and a noun:
I need more practice before I do the exam. Can I practice my English with you?
In British English “practice” is a noun and the verb is “practise”:
I need more practice before I do the exam. Can I practise my English with you?
Actually, it’s very easy.
It’s is always short for “it is” or “it has”.
- It is snowing. It’s snowing.
- It has finished. It’s finished.
- It has got 6 wheels. It’s got 6 wheels.
Its means “belonging to it” and is a possessive pronoun like “his”.
- Turn the box on its side,
- Did you see its registration number?
- Its atmosphere is romantic.
Based on evidence from the billion-word Oxford English Corpus, Oxford have identified the hundred commonest English words found in writing globally:
Here’s an economical word 😉 It means two mutually-exclusive thing at once:
1. twice a month
2. once every two months
In fact, the meaning of “bimonthly” (and similar words like “biweekly” and “biyearly”) is ambiguous. The best way to be unambiguous is to use alternative expressions such as “twice a month” or “every two months”.