Difference Between Impact and Effect
The two terms impact and effect do not mean the same, even though they have similar meanings and can be used in similar situations. The main difference between impact and effect is that impact is the influence of an action/phenomenon on something or someone whereas effect is the consequence or outcome of an action or a phenomenon.
Effect – Meaning and Usage
Effect is the result or outcome of an action or a phenomenon. Effect can be both used as a noun and a verb though noun is the most commonly used of the two. As mentioned above, effect is generally used as a noun to indicate the result or consequence of something. In most cases, the term effect refers to the end results of a phenomenon. An effect is always the result of a cause.
To understand this word better, let us look at the phenomenon of global warming, which has become a burning issue in today’s world. Emission of greenhouse gasses is the main cause behind global warming. Effects of global warming are environmental and social changes like the retreat of glaciers, changing in the timing of seasonal events, changes in agricultural productivity, etc. All these effects are caused as a result of direct or indirect human behavior. Global warming has a major impact on all human and animal life on earth.
Impact – Meaning and Usage
The term impact can have several meanings such as collision, strong effect, influence, etc. But since we are comparing impact with effect in this article, we’ll only look at the meaning that is mostly confused with effect. In certain cases, impact can be defined as a powerful effect. Keep in mind that the term impact mostly refers to a negative effect. Although the term effect can be loosely interchanged with terms like result and consequences, impact cannot be interchanged with these terms. Unlike effect, impact does not indicate a consequence or result but indicates how something influence and affect something.
In the earlier section, we discussed the effects of global warming and how it has a huge impact on human and animal lives. Here, you’ll notice that the term impact refers to how global warming affects and influence our lives. When we say effects of global warming, we are referring to what happens due to global warming. When we say impacts of global warming, we are mainly referring to the influence of these effects on environment and society. In simple, we use the term effect, when we are merely talking about the consequences of something, but we use the term impact to describe how these consequences are going to affect someone or something. For example, consider the sentence, “To understand the seriousness of global warming, it is important to know its impact on the environment and society.” Here, impact basically refers to how global warming is going to affect and influence the environment and society. If we are simply talking about the consequences of global warming, without mentioning what or who it is going to be affected, we can say use the term effect.
Difference Between Impact and Effect
Impact can be defined as a marked effect that usually has negative outcomes.
Effect can be defined as a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Impact is the influence of an action/phenomenon on something or someone.
Effect is the consequence or outcome of an action or a phenomenon.
Impact cannot be used synonymously with result, consequence, outcome, etc
Effect can be used synonymously with result, consequence, outcome, etc..
Impact refers to how a consequence of some action is going to affect someone or something.
Effect only refers to the consequences.
“Franz Josef glacier” by en: user: dramatic – en:Image:Franzjosef_glacier_3.JPG. (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons
“VOA A car tries to drive through Jakarta’s flooded streets” by VOA Indonesian Service – Voice of America: Flooded Jakarta Braces for More Downpours. (Public Domain) via Commons