In most situations, affect is used as a verb, and effect is used as a noun. However, both words have alternate meanings when used as different parts of speech.
Contents: Affect vs Effect
edit Differences in Usage
In general, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. When X "affects" Y, it is said that X produces an "effect" on Y. In passive form, Y is "affected" by X.
edit Examples of Affect vs Effect
- Carbon dioxide emissions affect the environment.
- The effect of global warming is that glaciers will melt and sea levels will rise.
- The results of the 2008 presidential election in the United States were likely affected by the war in Iraq.
- Reducing the marketing budget will affect sales growth.
- We know the new marketing campaign is really effective because sales are up 350%.
- Do you know the side effects of Tylenol?
- Doctors must keep in mind that X-rays in CAT Scans may affect the body adversely with repeated exposure.
As a rule of thumb that works in most common usage scenarios, it is advisable to use affect as a verb (transitive, intransitive, active, passive) and to use effect as a noun.
edit Usage in Special Cases
Like many other words in the English language, affect and effect have more than one meaning.
edit Affect as a Noun
When used as a noun, "affect" refers to the external display of one's emotions or moods. The pronunciation of the word "affect" is slightly different when used as a noun. It is pronounced with a short A, as in apple, rather than the "uh" sound found in amount and affect when used as a verb. For example, consider the sentence John was unaffected by the impassioned performance. This means John did not display any emotions.
edit Effect as a Verb
When used as a verb, "effect" means to execute, produce, or accomplish something. It is pronounced the same way whether used as a verb or a noun. For example: The best way to effect change in society is to work at the grassroots level. Here "to effect change" means "to produce change".
edit Effects as a plural noun
The word "effects" can also be used to mean "a person's belongings". For example, He left without any of his personal effects.
"Affect vs Effect." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 18 Sep 2014. < http://www.diffen.com/difference/Affect_vs_Effect >