The adjective for something that has a good or bad effect?

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minaret

Senior Member
Persian
Hi

I wondered what is the adjective that means something has a bad or good effect?
For instance, we say exercise is an effective way of being healthy. In this case, effective means that exercise has a good effect. If I'm right, I cannot use this word for a bad effect. For instance, "Smoking is an effective parameter of lung cancer." I guess it is wrong. So, what is the correct word?

Best regards
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    For instance, we say exercise is an effective way of being healthy. In this case, effective means that exercise has a good effect.
    That isn't correct. In the phrase "an effective way to <do anything>" the word "effective" just means "efficient; it works well; a good way to accomplish the thing". It is the "being healthy" phrase that says exercise has a good effect.

    You could say "an effective way to murder old people is to use poison". That isn't a good effect. But it uses "effective" correctly.

    "Smoking is the most effective way to get lung cancer." That sentence works. Don't confuse us by changing "effective way" to "effective parameter", an obscure and unclear term.
     

    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I suppose you could say that something that has a good effect is beneficial, but you wouldn't say, for example, that "exercise is a beneficial way of being healthy." You could say that "exercise is beneficial because it promotes health."
     

    minaret

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thanks

    So, this sentences should be correct:

    Exercise is very effective/beneficial for health.
    Smoking is very effective for lung cancer.

    Am I right?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    1. Smoking is the most effective way to get lung cancer.
    2. Smoking is very effective for lung cancer.
    In sentence 1, "effective" modifies "way to get". In sentence 2, the phrase "effective for lung cancer" modifies "smoking".

    Those are completely different uses of "effective". It's a different grammar. You cannot assume 2 is correct because 1 is correct.

    I would not use sentence 2. I am not sure what "effective for lung cancer" means. I am not sure it even has a meaning in English.
     

    minaret

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thanks for the helpful responses.

    To clarify my question further, alll I want is an adjective which stands for bad effects.

    For instance, "Parents should not be strict and authoritarian towards their children. It has a bad effect on their self-confidence./It is very effective on their confidence and make them objective, submissive children.
     
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