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You are HERE >> Language Arts > Grammar > Grade 9

How Does the Effect Affect You? - Another Grammatical Riddle
by Elaine Ernst Schneider
December 13, 2000

Objective(s): By the end of this lesson the student will be able to: 

Pre-Class Assignment: 
Resources/Equipment/Time Required: 


Two very confusing words often misused. Cause and effect, sound effects, weather that affects your health, an affected tone of voice a spelling nightmare. Let's look at basic definitions and parts of speech.

AFFECT verb to act upon, to change or to cause a change 

AFFECTED adjective influenced by an outside force

EFFECT noun result; consequence

(Note: there is one exception to this rule. When effect is used to indicate a scientific "cause and effect" instance, then it may be used as a verb. An example is:

Do you know the name of the doctor who effected a cure for rabies?)

Although the definitions are certainly beneficial in knowing which spelling of similar-sounding words to use, it is the part of speech that gives us the best clue. Here are examples:

1. She knew the _________ of the weather would impact the arthritis in her knee negatively.

Two clauses are seen here: She (subject) knew (verb)


_________ (subject) would impact (verb)

A noun must go in the blank to act as the subject. Therefore, the only spelling choice available to us is EFFECT. She knew the EFFECT of the weather would impact the arthritis in her knee.

2. The weather always _____________ the arthritis in her knee.

One clause: weather (subject) _____________ (verb)

The verb form is spelled AFFECT. Past tense becomes AFFECTED. The weather always AFFECTED the arthritis in her knee.

3. The _________ knee responded negatively to the damp weather due to its arthritic condition.

One clause: knee (subject) responded (verb)

The blank before the noun must be filled by an adjective. Therefore, the spelling must be AFFECTED. The AFFECTED knee responded negatively to the damp weather due to its arthritic condition.


  1. The applause showed how deeply the presentation had _____________ the audience.
  2. His attitude was _________________ by his upbringing.
  3. What ____________ do you think the news will have on her?
  4. No matter what he does, it will have no _____________ on me.
  5. No matter what he does, it will not __________________ me.
  6. What do you think the _______ of the decision will be?
  7. How did her son's departure _________________ Mrs. Sanago?
  8. How was the team _______________ by the loss of their coach?
  9. I was impressed by the _______________ of Churchill's words on Britain during that time.
  10. Do you know what ____________ that medicine will have on you?


  1. affected
  2. affected
  3. effect
  4. effect
  5. affect
  6. effect
  7. affect
  8. affected
  9. effect

  10. effect
Submitted by:  © Elaine Ernst Schneider  is a freelance writer and a teacher. She has been writing since high school and has published articles, songs, and children's work. Presently, Elaine is a curriculum author for Group Publishing and also writes the City Songs column for ezine.  Send on your comments


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