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Do they have the same meaning:

  1. The effect "y" has when the value of "x" changes is called rate of change.
  2. The effect "y" gets when the value of "x" changes is called rate of change.

Is there usually a difference when we use has or gets with effect?

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    (2) is not idiomatic. Something has an effect, it doesn't get it. – Kate Bunting Dec 22 '20 at 14:03
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    (2) sounds unidiomatic as Kate said, and (1) is not an elegant scientific writing either in my humble opinion. Both sentence sound off to my learner ears. – Cardinal Dec 22 '20 at 14:11
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    On second thoughts - Do you mean that "y" has an effect on something, or that something else has an effect on it? In the latter case, you need to say The effect on "y" – Kate Bunting Dec 22 '20 at 15:46
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Assuming the usual convention for x and y then

The effect on y when x changes is called the rate of change

as @KateBunting suggested in comments. Neither of your suggestions sounds good although the first is better. I think it is off-topic on this site to discuss whether that really is a good definition of rate of change as that is really for a mathematics site.

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