[Grammar] ‘Effective’ VS. ‘Efficient’

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There are numerous words in the English language that have very similar meanings but different applications. These two words effective vs. efficient fall into this category. They both generally mean “having an effect,” but each word has its own distinctive application.


1. Effective

 Effective is an adjective that means performing a function or accomplishing the goal well. It focuses on the completion result.


  • This medicine is very effective at reducing the symptoms of the common cold.
  • Exercise and a healthy diet are proven to be the most effective ways to lose weight.
  • I need to develop some more effective study habits; I failed my last test.

2. Efficient

Efficient is an adjective that means capable of doing something without wasting effort or resources. It focuses on the completion process


  • Copying the book’s text word for word is not an efficient way to study. It would save time and effort if you only copied the most important facts.
  • We are losing too much revenue; we need a more efficient means of production.
  • My new car is very fuel-efficient, and it gets 40 miles per gallon.

If you’re still confused about how to use efficient or effective correctly, don’t worry! Here’s a practical example comparing the two words that would make their usages clearly.

  • The young politician was a very effective public speaker.

If you were to describe someone as an effective speaker, you might consider someone who is convincing or persuasive or someone who is relatable, etc.

Conversely, if you were to describe someone as an efficient speaker, you might regard someone who says what needs to be said and nothing more. He or she may get to the point and doesn’t waste time with small talk or pleasantries.


Effective refers to having a desired effect. Was something accomplished at all?

Efficient refers to accomplishing something with little waste. Was it accomplished efficiently?

😎Try not to mix up efficient or effective again!



#1. This medicine isn’t ____________ at all. I’m starting to think it’s a placebo.

#2. Making a daily plan can help you to save time and be more ______________ by getting things done more quickly.



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