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Is "Impact" a Verb?

Don't annoy people with jargony usage.

By
Mignon Fogarty

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Although "impact" has taken root in the business world as a verb, as in Cutting prices will impact our revenue, many people maintain that "impact" is only proper as a noun. They believe the verb "impact" only means "to hit," and any other use is just irritating jargon.

Usually, when you are tempted to use "impact" as a verb, "affect" is the better choice:

Cutting prices will affect our revenue.

Quick and Dirty Tip: If you can put an article such as "an" or "the" in front of "impact," you are using it in the most proper way—as a noun. He wondered what the impact of the changes would be.

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"Affect" Versus "Effect"

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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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