Charis for Writing Lesson 57: Impact or Impact ON

IMPACT ON IMPACT

As editors, we read all kinds of sentences and our recent exposure to this word has triggered this lesson. It is not that people generally do not understand what the word means but it is the usage that is often wrong.

For example, it is common to see a sentence like:  The current economic situation has really impacted on the way Ghanaians spend money these days.

Did you find anything wrong with the sentence? If you didn’t, then this lesson is made just for you!

Let us begin with the meaning of the word. The word impact can be a noun (which means you can put an or the before it) or a verb (which means you can have impacted or will impact).

As a verb, to impact means to have a great effect or influence on something. In other words, when something has a great effect or influence on me, I say: It has impacted me.

For example:

  • The kind of company a person keeps will no doubt impact who he becomes in the future
  • It has been observed that exchange and interest rates impact bank profitability.
  • I was greatly impacted by the kind gesture of the young woman.

As a noun, it means a major influence or effect or even a physical hitting of another thing by something. So if something has a major effect on something, I say: the impact of ……….on……..

For example:

  • The impact of education on a person’s brain is enormous.
  • The marriage of one’s parents has an impact on the person’s own marriage.
  • His well-prepared and animated speech made no impact at all on the judges.

We can see, therefore, that impact as a verb does not take ON but impact as a noun takes ON in expressions such as make an impact on, and have an impact on.

This is the problem with the first sentence.  It uses impact as verb and then uses ON. What will be the correction of that sentence?

We hope this lesson was useful. Catch us next week for another interesting lesson. Kindly contact us to do any proofreading or editorial work for you. If you have plans of publishing a book, we could help you out too. We also design and draft proposals and business plans. That’s us!!!

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