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affect and influence

Discussion in 'English Only' started by quietdandelion, May 1, 2007.

  1. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    I don't consider affect and influence to be synonymous. I can be affected by the weather without being influenced by it:
    I get wet in the rain - an effect (I am affected)
    I stay inside because it's raining - an influence (I am influenced)

    For me, affect and influence are no different, so the above reasoning by a friendly and helpful forero doesn't make much sense to me. Therefore, I'd like to listen to your comments. Thanks.
     
  2. WongFeiHung

    WongFeiHung Senior Member

    USA English
    Affect generally deals with feelings or emotions "His harsh words really affected me" -- means got to me emotionally
    Influence is like to compel somebody to some action "His harsh words really influenced me to shape up" -- take some sort of action
    (Although 'influence' can be used to describe emotional states - "under the influence")

    In the examples you gave, "I get wet in the rain" - that's a cause and effect. Cause = rain, effect = you get wet.
    In the second: you are influenced to take the action of to migrate inside. The raining impels you to seek shelter

    But with that being said, I'd consider them synonyms. In fact, in the dictionary "affect" is a synonym for "influence"
     
  3. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, FH.
    Interesting.
     
  4. Toadie

    Toadie Senior Member

    Maryland
    English
    To affect is also (like your example with rain) usually used for physical things. Getting wet is a physical thing, and it is how you were affected by the rain.
     

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