Key Vocabulary Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Many students of English and even native speakers make errors with affect and effect. This class will help you to use this vocabulary more accurately.


Exercise 1

An IELTS candidate is writing about public transport. Read the following sentences.
There are many positive effects of increased investment in public transport.
The amount of money that the government invests affects the quality of public transport.

Complete the following definition with a word from the box
Affect   Effect  
Click or touch a word above
1. is a verb that is used to show that something causes a change.
2. is a noun that is used to talk about a change or result cause by something.

Grammar Notes:

Let’s look at those sentences again.
1. There are many positive effects of increased investment in public transport.
2. The amount of money that the government invests affects the quality of public transport.


​1

After ‘There are many’ we must use a plural noun (in this example we use ‘positive effects‘).
If the sentence was singular it would look like this:
‘There is a positive effect​ of increased investment in public transport.


​2

The second sentence looks confusing because there are two verbs next to each other: ‘invests’ and ‘affects‘. How is this possible?

It is possible because ‘invests’ is a part of a long compound noun
The amount of money that the government invests
We can simplify this compound noun to just ‘money’ so that the sentence becomes: ‘Money affects the quality of public transport.’


Exercise 2

Complete the following sentences with affect/effect. Be aware of tense if you need to use a verb and be aware of plural and singular forms if you need to use a noun.
Click or touch a word above
1. What did his decision have on you?
2. The bad weather over the last winter period severely safety on the regions roads.
3. The rising price of oil next year the price of basic commodities.
4. The of the best educated people in society leaving to seek better paid work in foreign countries can reduce a country’s ability to modernize.
5. Does politics have an on your life?
6. The of the volcanic eruption and resulting tsunami were numerous.
7. Extreme forest fires California last year.
8. The media has a large on the way people vote in elections.
9. The new rule had an on the number of students who enrolled at the college.
10. Close bodily contact positively an individual’s immune system.
11. How do you think global warming your country over the coming decades?
12. You should see if the medicine is having a positive within a few days.

We plan to do more Common English Mistakes lessons, so stay tuned! 

While you wait, have a look at our other Vocabulary Exercises.