Effective vs. Efficient

Difference Between Effective and Efficient

The two words, Effective and Efficient are two different words with entirely varied internal connotations. The word Effective is synonymous with ‘power’ while the word ‘efficient’ relates closely to ability.

It can be also be said that the word ‘Efficient’ expresses the capability of a person or a thing, while the word ‘Effective’ is suggestive of the instinctive power of a thing. The two sentences below are totally different from each other in their sense.

1. The advice was really effective.

2. The manager was very efficient.

In the first sentence the word ‘Effective’ expresses the inherent strength of the advice provided. On the other hand in the second sentence, the word ‘efficient’ implies the dexterity or the aptitude of the manager. It can therefore be considered that the word ‘Effective’ denotes strength while, the word ‘efficient’ is an implication of adroitness.

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

One is required to be extremely cautious in the treatment of both the words ‘Effective’ and ‘Efficient’, since they cannot be interchanged. In case they are interchanged, they would ultimately lose their sense.

One of the major differences between the words Effective and Efficient is that both of them have varied 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. On the other hand, the word ‘efficient’ is used to describe nouns such as manager, player, singer, artist and such other words. The word ‘efficient’ is generally used as an adverb also as indicated in the sentence “He worked efficiently”. The word ‘effective’ has its adverbial form as ‘effectively’.

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