Hi all,

The following sentence has been bothering me a lot, because both the professor and I have different opinions.

Although Mr.Robinson has made several valid points, his argument fails to address the recent technological advances that also affect literacy.

The questions relating to the above sentence are as follows:

1) Should “which” or “that” be used?

2) Should “effect” or “affect” be used?

Merci en avance!

For anyone who answers, could you please provide some sort of evidence?
1) Should “which” or “that” be used? Either relative pronoun is OK. See this reference .
2) Should “effect” or “affect” be used? Affect. See the "usage note" here .
AlpheccaStars1) Should “which” or “that” be used? Either relative pronoun is OK. See this reference.2) Should “effect” or “affect” be used? Affect. See the "usage note" here.
According the following site, however, "effects" can also be used: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/affect-versus-effect.aspx : "And, effect can be used as a verb that essentially means "to bring about," or "to accomplish." For example, you could say, "Aardvark hoped to effect change within the burrow."

Does this make a difference?
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YYes it does.

"effect" as a verb means "to bring about". "Affect" means "to influence".

The sentence in the original question clearly requires "affect", otherwise it's meaning would be rather illogical...
S-C-3-1-3
AlpheccaStars1) Should “which” or “that” be used? Either relative pronoun is OK. See this reference.2) Should “effect” or “affect” be used? Affect. See the "usage note" here.
According the following site, however, "effects" can also be used: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/affect-versus-effect.aspx : "And, effect can be used as a verb that essentially means "to bring about," or "to accomplish." For example, you could say, "Aardvark hoped to effect change within the burrow."
Does this make a difference?
No.

Effect is very very rarely used as a verb. Affect is very very rarely used as a noun.

In your sentence, the only word that makes sense is the verb affect. It means to change in some way. Reworded, effect can be used:

Although Mr.Robinson has made several valid points, his argument fails to address the recent technological advances that have some effect on literacy.

Although Mr.Robinson has made several valid points, his argument fails to address the recent technological advances that also affect literacy.

Should “which” or “that” be used?
Both are correct. Generally, "which" has the same meaning as "that" when describing.

However, there are cases in which you should consider which one sounds more appropriate.

By the way, take a second look at the second sentence and notice the different meanings of "which".

Good luck!
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S-C-3-1-3"And, effect can be used as a verb that essentially means "to bring about," or "to accomplish." For example, you could say, "Aardvark hoped to effect change within the burrow."
Does this make a difference?
This makes no difference in your example. If you scour through all the uses of "effect" as a verb, you will see that in 95% of those cases, the object is "change"!

So for all practical purposes, it's "to effect change" and "to affect (everything else)", and "literacy" goes in the 'everything else' category. Emotion: smile

CJ