What is the difference between “impact” and “aftermath”?


“Impact” and “aftermath” can have very similar meanings, depending on how the words are used, whether we use “impact” as a noun or a verb for example.
The main difference is that the word impact can be a noun and a verb whereas the word aftermath can only be a noun.
As a verb, impact means to have a strong effect on something or someone. Past experiences can impact or influence the way somebody chooses to live their life. Or think of how the economic recession has impacted or has had an effect on how consumers are spending their money.

As a noun, impact refers to the action of two or more objects suddenly coming into contact with one another.If you can think of a car accident, where two cars suddenly collide together and make impact with the other vehicle, the force of the impact can cause great damage.

As I mentioned at the beginning, we can only use the word aftermath as a noun. Aftermath refers to the consequences of an event, this event is usually troublesome or undesirable. If we go back to the car accident example, this was an unpleasant and negative event. In the aftermath of such a terrible event, what are the consequences? Was anybody seriously injured? Who was involved? Who was at fault? Should the police or an ambulance be called?

Here are some more examples of how we can use impact and aftermath in a sentence:

  • The aftermath of the car accident impacted her both physically and emotionally.
  • A child’s early experience in school will impact his/her attitude towards the education system, in the future.
  • As the plane collided to the ground, the sound of impact could be heard from miles away. 
  • Little was resolved in the aftermath of the national debate.
  • It was the less fortunate people that were impacted the most in the aftermath of the tsunami.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments