English Vocabulary

Effective and efficient


Who can explain to me the slight difference between the words "effective" and "efficient" that I have learnt in my lesson today?
I must admit I haven't understood the explanations given...!


  • If I understood, "effective" is when the job expected is done, "efficient" is when the job is done with competence, the best way possible (or near).
    Hope this help...
  • „Effective“ cab be literally construed as something that has an effect (as opposed to an action, for example,which doesn't gave the desired effect.

    For example:
    A work is effective if it has the wanted effect; a therapy for example which helps the patient getting better is effective, as opposed to a therapy approach which doesn't show the desired recovery,which then has proved to be ineffective.

    "Efficient" means something else. Generally speaking, "efficiency" refers to the ratio of yield (the output) to the resources put in (the input) The higher the outcome is compared to the input, the higher is the efficiency.

    When it comes to work, "efficient" assesses how much work is done in relation to the amount of time it takes. If much work is finished in little time, the work is efficient.

    For example, if a clerk is fast and savvy and knows how to do things with little resources and in short time (by using the best tools available for example), his work is said to be 'efficient'.

    An electric device can be power efficient (or inefficient), for example. The conventional light bulb is not efficient in terms of power consumption: Only five percent of the electrical energy taken in is harnessed for light production, the rest is lost in form of heat. That's inefficient. But still, the light bulb is effective though, because it gives plenty of warm (pleasant) light.
  • ..and, as a perfect exmaple, GymGlish is both effective AND efficient.

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