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Affect vs. Effect: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"Affect" is usually a verb meaning to influence, while "effect" is a noun meaning the result or impact of an action.
Affect vs. Effect

Key Differences

"Affect" as a verb refers to making an impact on or influencing something. "Effect" as a noun represents the outcome or result of an action.
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Nov 16, 2023
In psychology, "affect" can denote an emotional response or feeling. "Effect" can refer to the consequence of a psychological phenomenon.
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"Affect" is used in describing the act of changing or altering. "Effect" is the change that has occurred due to a particular cause.
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"Affect" can also mean to pretend or to put on a false show. "Effect" in a different context, can mean to bring about something (as a verb).
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The usage of "affect" often indicates an ongoing process. The usage of "effect" usually points to the completion of a process.
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Verb (primarily)
Noun (primarily)
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Meaning

To influence or make an impact on
The result or outcome of an action
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Usage in Psychology

Emotional response or feeling
Consequence of a psychological phenomenon
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Alternative Meaning

To pretend or put on a false show
To bring about something (as a verb)
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Indication in Process

Ongoing process or action
Completion of a process or its result
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Affect and Effect Definitions

Affect

To have an influence on or make a difference to.
The weather can greatly affect mood.
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Effect

A phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon.
The greenhouse effect contributes to global warming.
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Affect

To touch the feelings of; to move emotionally.
Her story deeply affected the audience.
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Effect

To bring about something (as a verb).
The president aimed to effect positive change in the policy.
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Affect

To have an influence on or effect a change in
Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
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Effect

Something brought about by a cause or agent; a result.
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Affect

To act on the emotions of; touch or move.
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Effect

The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result
The government's action had little effect on the trade imbalance.
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Affect

To attack or infect, as a disease
Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.
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Effect

Advantage; avail
Used her words to great effect in influencing the jury.
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Affect

To put on a false show of; simulate
Affected a British accent.
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Effect

The condition of being in full force or execution; operativeness
A new regulation that goes into effect tomorrow.
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Affect

To have or show a liking for
Affects dramatic clothes.
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Effect

Something that produces a specific impression or supports a general design or intention
The lighting effects emphasized the harsh atmosphere of the drama.
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Affect

(Archaic) To fancy; love.
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Effect

A particular impression
Large windows that gave an effect of spaciousness.
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Affect

To tend to by nature; tend to assume
A substance that affects crystalline form.
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Effect

Production of a desired impression
Spent lavishly on dinner just for effect.
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Affect

To imitate; copy
"Spenser, in affecting the ancients, writ no language" (Ben Jonson).
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Effect

The basic or general meaning; import
He said he was greatly worried, or words to that effect.
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Affect

Feeling or emotion, especially as manifested by facial expression or body language
"The soldiers seen on television had been carefully chosen for blandness of affect" (Norman Mailer).
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Effect

Effects Movable belongings; goods.
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Affect

(Obsolete) A disposition, feeling, or tendency.
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Effect

To bring about; make happen; cause or accomplish
Effect a cure for a disease.
Effect a change in policy. See Usage Note at affect1.
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Affect

(transitive) To influence or alter.
The experience affected me deeply.
The heat of the sunlight affected the speed of the chemical reaction.
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Effect

The result or outcome of a cause.
The effect of the hurricane was a devastated landscape.
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Affect

(transitive) To move to emotion.
He was deeply affected by the tragic ending of the play.
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Effect

Impression left on the mind; sensation produced.
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Affect

Of an illness or condition, to infect or harm (a part of the body).
Hepatitis affects the liver.
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Effect

Execution; performance; realization; operation.
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Affect

To dispose or incline.
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Effect

(uncountable) The state of being binding and enforceable, as in a rule, policy, or law.
The new law will come into effect on the first day of next year.
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Affect

To tend to by affinity or disposition.
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Effect

An illusion produced by technical means (as in "special effect")
The effect of flying was most convincing.
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Affect

To assign; to appoint.
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Effect

(sound engineering) An alteration, or device for producing an alteration, in sound after it has been produced by an instrument.
I use an echo effect here to make the sound more mysterious.
I just bought a couple of great effects.
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Affect

To burden (property) with a fixed charge or payment, or other condition or restriction.
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Effect

A scientific phenomenon, usually named after its discoverer.
Doppler effect
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Affect

(transitive) To make a show of; to put on a pretense of; to feign; to assume. To make a false display of.
To affect ignorance
To affect a British accent
He managed to affect a smile despite feeling quite miserable.
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Effect

Belongings, usually as personal effects.
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Affect

To aim for, to try to obtain.
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Effect

Consequence intended; purpose; meaning; general intent; with to.
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Affect

To feel affection for (someone); to like, be fond of.
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Effect

(obsolete) Reality; actual meaning; fact, as distinguished from mere appearance.
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Affect

To show a fondness for (something); to choose.
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Effect

(obsolete) Manifestation; expression; sign.
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Affect

(psychology) A subjective feeling experienced in response to a thought or other stimulus; mood, emotion, especially as demonstrated in external physical signs.
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Effect

(transitive) To make or bring about; to implement.
The best way to effect change is to work with existing stakeholders.
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Affect

(obsolete) One's mood or inclination; mental state.
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Effect

Misspelling of affect
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Affect

(obsolete) A desire, an appetite.
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Effect

Execution; performance; realization; operation; as, the law goes into effect in May.
That no compunctious visitings of natureShake my fell purpose, nor keep peace betweenThe effect and it.
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Affect

To act upon; to produce an effect or change upon.
As might affect the earth with cold heat.
The climate affected their health and spirits.
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Effect

Manifestation; expression; sign.
All the large effectsThat troop with majesty.
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Affect

To influence or move, as the feelings or passions; to touch.
A consideration of the rationale of our passions seems to me very necessary for all who would affect them upon solid and pure principles.
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Effect

In general: That which is produced by an agent or cause; the event which follows immediately from an antecedent, called the cause; result; consequence; outcome; fruit; as, the effect of luxury.
The effect is the unfailing index of the amount of the cause.
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Affect

To love; to regard with affection.
As for Queen Katharine, he rather respected than affected, rather honored than loved, her.
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Effect

Impression left on the mind; sensation produced.
Patchwork . . . introduced for oratorical effect.
The effect was heightened by the wild and lonely nature of the place.
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Affect

To show a fondness for; to like to use or practice; to choose; hence, to frequent habitually.
For he does neither affect company, nor is he fit for it, indeed.
Do not affect the society of your inferiors in rank, nor court that of the great.
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Effect

Power to produce results; efficiency; force; importance; account; as, to speak with effect.
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Affect

To dispose or incline.
Men whom they thought best affected to religion and their country's liberty.
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Effect

Consequence intended; purpose; meaning; general intent; - with to.
They spake to her to that effect.
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Affect

To aim at; to aspire; to covet.
This proud man affects imperial way.
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Effect

The purport; the sum and substance.
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Affect

To tend to by affinity or disposition.
The drops of every fluid affect a round figure.
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Effect

Reality; actual meaning; fact, as distinguished from mere appearance.
No other in effect than what it seems.
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Affect

To make a show of; to put on a pretense of; to feign; to assume; as, to affect ignorance.
Careless she is with artful care,Affecting to seem unaffected.
Thou dost affect my manners.
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Effect

Goods; movables; personal estate; - sometimes used to embrace real as well as personal property; as, the people escaped from the town with their effects.
Resolving all events, with their effectsAnd manifold results, into the willAnd arbitration wise of the Supreme.
Shun the bitter consequence, for know,The day thou eatest thereof, . . . thou shalt die.
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Affect

To assign; to appoint.
One of the domestics was affected to his special service.
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Effect

To produce, as a cause or agent; to cause to be.
So great a body such exploits to effect.
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Affect

Affection; inclination; passion; feeling; disposition.
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Effect

To bring to pass; to execute; to enforce; to achieve; to accomplish.
To effect that which the divine counsels had decreed.
They sailed away without effecting their purpose.
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Affect

The emotional complex associated with an idea or mental state. In hysteria, the affect is sometimes entirely dissociated, sometimes transferred to another than the original idea.
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Effect

A phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon;
The magnetic effect was greater when the rod was lengthwise
His decision had depressing consequences for business
He acted very wise after the event
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Affect

The conscious subjective aspect of feeling or emotion
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Effect

An outward appearance;
He made a good impression
I wanted to create an impression of success
She retained that bold effect in her reproductions of the original painting
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Affect

Have an effect upon;
Will the new rules affect me?
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Effect

(of a law) having legal validity;
The law is still in effect
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Affect

Act physically on; have an effect upon
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Effect

A symptom caused by an illness or a drug;
The effects of sleep loss
The effect of the anesthetic
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Affect

Connect closely and often incriminatingly;
This new ruling affects your business
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Effect

An impression (especially one that is artificial or contrived);
He just did it for effect
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Affect

Make believe with the intent to deceive;
He feigned that he was ill
He shammed a headache
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Effect

The central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
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Affect

Have an emotional or cognitive impact upon;
This child impressed me as unusually mature
This behavior struck me as odd
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Effect

Produce;
The scientists set up a shockwave
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Affect

To produce an effect on the condition or nature of.
Pollution can adversely affect air quality.
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Effect

Act so as to bring into existence;
Effect a change
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Affect

In psychology, to experience an emotion or feeling.
He was visibly affected by the news.
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Effect

A change that is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
The new law had an immediate effect on traffic speed.
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Affect

To pretend or feign a certain state or condition.
She affected indifference, even though she was upset.
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Effect

The power to bring about results; efficacy.
The medicine's effect was felt within minutes.
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Effect

An impression produced on a spectator, listener, or reader.
The film's special effects were impressive.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is “effect” ever used as a verb?

Yes, “effect” can be a verb meaning to bring about or cause something to happen.
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Nov 16, 2023

How is “effect” used differently?

Effect” is mainly a noun referring to a result or outcome of an action.
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Nov 16, 2023

What does “affect” mean?

Affect” is usually a verb meaning to influence or make a difference to.
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How do you remember the difference?

Affect” is an Action (both start with 'A'), and “effect” is an End result.
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Nov 16, 2023

What’s an example of an “effect”?

A new law can have a significant effect on society.
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Is “effect” related to cause-and-effect?

Yes, it's the outcome in a cause-and-effect relationship.
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Nov 16, 2023

What is a “side effect”?

A side effect is a secondary, usually undesirable effect of a drug or therapy.
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Nov 16, 2023

Does “affect” imply a change?

Yes, to affect something usually means to change it in some way.
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Nov 16, 2023

Can “affect” be a noun?

Yes, in psychology, “affect” as a noun refers to an observable expression of emotion.
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Nov 16, 2023

Is “affect” always emotional?

Not always; it can also refer to causing a change in any context.
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Nov 16, 2023

Can weather “affect” mood?

Yes, weather can influence (affect) a person's mood.
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Nov 16, 2023

Can “effect” indicate a direct result?

Yes, “effect” often indicates a direct or indirect result of an action.
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Nov 16, 2023

How does “affect” relate to psychology?

In psychology, it refers to the experience of feeling or emotion.
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Nov 16, 2023

Does “effect” relate to effectiveness?

Yes, in a way, as both pertain to the result or impact of something.
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Nov 16, 2023

Can “affect” mean to pretend?

Yes, but it's a less common usage, like "He affected ignorance."
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Nov 16, 2023

How do emotions “affect” behavior?

Emotions can greatly influence (affect) a person's behavior and decisions.
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Nov 16, 2023

Can a decision “affect” outcomes?

Yes, a decision can affect (influence) various outcomes.
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Nov 16, 2023

What is a “ripple effect”?

A ripple effect is a series of consequences caused by a single action or event.
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Nov 16, 2023

Can “affect” be positive or negative?

Yes, “affect” can be either positive or negative in its influence.
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What's a “domino effect”?

It's a chain reaction where one event sets off a series of similar events.
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Nov 16, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Term is a general period for any division of the academic year, while Semester specifically refers to half of an academic year.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
NM3 vs. M3NM3 vs. M3
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 19, 2024
NM3 measures gas volume under Normal conditions (0°C and 1.01325 bar), while M3 measures volume under the conditions at which it is measured, without standard adjustment.
2chan vs. 4chan2chan vs. 4chan
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 1, 2024
2chan is a Japanese imageboard primarily for sharing images and discussion. 4chan is an English-language imageboard with a diverse range of topics and more international user base.
Interviewer vs. IntervieweeInterviewer vs. Interviewee
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
The interviewer conducts the interview, asking questions and guiding the conversation, while the interviewee is the one responding and being evaluated.
Positivism vs. Post-PositivismPositivism vs. Post-Positivism
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
May 26, 2024
Positivism emphasizes observable, empirical evidence and the scientific method, while post-positivism recognizes the limitations of pure objectivity and incorporates subjective perspectives.

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