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You guys probably get asked this a lot, but there is someone I know that refuses to accept the difference, no matter how much I explain it.

All I want to know is: which of the following two sentences is correct?

"I wonder what affect the BBC has had on making English the lingua franca."
"I wonder what effect the BBC has had on making English the lingua franca."

If possible, could you also explain why. I would also be very grateful if several people could give their analyses just so this guy doesn't just snob it off as one person's opinion.

Thanks in advance.
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Yes, we do. Affect as a noun has only psychological uses. The verbs have nothing in common.

I wonder what effect the BBC has had on making English the lingua franca.
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The dictionary can't serve as your authority?

With the exception of specific use in psychology, "affect" is a verb. From www.m-w.com : : to produce an effect upon: as a: to produce a material influence upon or alteration in <paralysis affected his limbs> b: to act upon (as a person or a person's mind or feelings) so as to effect a response : influence

Unless you mean "to bring about," effect is a noun. "something that inevitably follows." Synonyms aftereffect, aftermath, conclusion, consequence, corollary, development, fate, fruit, issue, outcome, outgrowth, product, result, resultant, sequel, sequence, upshot

If the person refuses to accept that there is a difference, you probably won't have any luck changing his mind because of a forum, but a dictionary might help!
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Anonymouswhich of the following two sentences is correct?
The second.

99% of the time, affect is a verb, and effect is a noun.

You have a noun here, so the chances are very slim that affect could be correct.

But even supposing that we're dealing with that rare 1%, the noun affect is pronounced with stress on the first syllable: AFFect. People who are depressed are said to have "flat affect"; they don't respond normally. They can't express their emotions in a normal way. There's nothing in your sentence that could possibly mean affect.

CJ
Thanks guys.

The problem is, he claims that he is not using the word as a noun. Again, I've have tried to convince him otherwise, but he won't accept.

I'll see if your replies change his mind.
Please can the experts explain why affect is incorrect in more detail and could you also let us know why you are an English grammar expert.

Specifically it would be interesting to know why it is you believe affect has been used as a noun and not a verb. Is it the case that the first sentence is asking whether the BBC had an influence, rather than the writer stating the BBC had caused or effected change?

Affect = had an effect upon, or influenced

Effect = had brought about a change, or was a cause
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The original statement ponders "What effect." Only a noun can be used in that structure.

Compare these two pairings:

The BBC has had an effect on how language is used. What effect has it had? -- Can you see how this is clearly a noun?

The BBC effected sweeping changes in its management hierarchy. How did it effect them? -- Can you see how this is a verb?

Further, the verb "effect" requries an object. It is a transitive verb. If you wanted to use "effect" as a verb, you'd have to have something like "I wonder what has been effected by BBC?" not "I wonder what effect it has had." or "I wonder how the BBC has effected making English the lingu franca" if you really believe that the BBC has caused this to happen.
Then why is that many quality newspapers use "what affect" and "what effect"?

The original poster is saying that "what effect" is correct and that "what affect" is incorrect in the question posed "I wonder what affect the BBC has had on making English the lingua franca"

Other posters have said, "what effect" is correct in that example and you appear to be saying it is wrong.

The original question I asked is what is wrong with using "affect" as a verb in "I wonder what affect the BBC has had on making English the lingua franca?" Affect in the original question is not talking about a cause or a result, but asking what influence the BBC had.

In fact, I am confused by your answer, because you say only a noun can be used in your first sentence, and then you say in the last paragraph, "not 'I wonder what effect it has had.'"

I do clearly understand and agree with the following, but not in context with the original question asked:

"Compare these two pairings:

The BBC has had an effect on how language is used. What effect has it had? -- Can you see how this is clearly a noun?

The BBC effected sweeping changes in its management hierarchy. How did it effect them? -- Can you see how this is a verb?

Further, the verb "effect" requries an object. It is a transitive verb. If you wanted to use "effect" as a verb, you'd have to have something like "I wonder what has been effected by BBC?" not "I wonder what effect it has had." or "I wonder how the BBC has effected making English the lingu franca" if you really believe that the BBC has caused this to happen."
No, I'm saying "effect" is correct, and giving evidence to support that it's a noun. Your question was "how do you know it's a noun" and I'm showing how it cannot be the use of effect as a verb.
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