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Difference Between Effective and Efficient

Effective vs Efficient

Effective and Efficient are two words that give different inner meanings. The word ‘effective’ is used in the sense of ‘power’. On the other hand the word ‘efficient’ is used in the sense of ‘ability’. In other words it can be said that the word ‘efficient’ conveys the ability of a person or a thing whereas the word ‘effective’ suggests the innate power of a thing.

Look at the two sentences given below:

1. The advice was really effective.

2. The manager was very efficient.

In the first sentence the word ‘effective’ suggests the innate power of the advice given. On the other hand in the second sentence the word ‘efficient’ suggests the skill or the ability of the manager.

It can thus be said that the word ‘effective’ is connotative of strength whereas the word ‘efficient’ is connotative of dexterity.

Efficient is used as an adjective too as in the sentence “Francis is an efficient stenographer”. The word ‘effective’ can also be used as an adjective as in the sentence “The effective rule was imposed”

One has to be careful in the usage of both the words ‘effective’ and ‘efficient’. They cannot be interchanged. They would lose their sense if done so.

One of the main differences between the words effective and efficient is that both of them have different noun forms. The noun form of effective is ‘efficacy’ whereas the noun form of ‘efficient’ is ‘efficiency’.

The word ‘effective’ is used as an adjective to describe nouns such as decision, medicine, advice, writing and such other nouns. The word ‘efficient’ is used to describe nouns such as manager, player, singer, artist and such other words. The word ‘efficient’ is used as an adverb too as in the sentence “He worked efficiently”. The word ‘effective’ has its adverbial form as ‘effectively’.


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