Affect vs Effect


Affect and Effect are frequently used incorrectly because people don't realize the difference between the two words. In most common situations, affect is used as a verb and effect as a noun. However, both words have alternate meanings when used as different parts of speech.

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Verb Meaning As a verb, to affect something means to cause it to change in some way. This is affect's most common usage. As a verb, "to effect" means "to bring about".
Noun Meaning As a noun, the word "affect" relates to the display of emotion. As a noun, effect means the result or outcome of a cause. This is effect's most common usage. Also, a person's "effects" means his/her immediate personal belongings.
Usage "Affect" is most commonly used in its verb form. "Effect" is most commonly used in its noun form.
Pronunciation Noun: ˈæfɛkt and Verb: ə'fɛkt ɪˈfɛkt
Example "My cold was affected by the weather" "Special effects"

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

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 effect when used as a noun.

edit Video explaining the difference

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" means Feelings and desires as factors in thought or conduct or, more simply, external display of one's emotion or mood. The pronunciation of the word "affect" is slightly different when used as a noun. It is pronounced æf?kt. For example, John seemed completely devoid of affect., which 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.

Comments: Affect vs Effect

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June 2, 2013, 11:27pm

Try plugging in the word "result" for effect: The effect (result) of the medication was bad.

— 12.✗.✗.229

May 10, 2013, 3:46pm

While the comment that 'effect" is typically used as a noun while "affect" is typically a verb is correct, both words can be used as verbs or nouns. As verbs, "affect" means "to influence" while "effect" means "to cause". -- University Professor for 25 years

— 207.✗.✗.207

September 21, 2012, 4:37pm

So when I have often said, "NO EFFECT" to denote that nothing changed, is it correct? Or should I have said 'NO AFFECT' which still just doesn't sound quite right to me? ........

— 216.✗.✗.132

February 21, 2012, 9:27am

Are there any instances where both affect and effect would work?

— 66.✗.✗.93

March 18, 2009, 6:46pm

The new law will affect you.
The effect of the new law is that people will smoke less.

— 24.✗.✗.112

February 24, 2009, 3:21am

so if I say; the new law may effect you - is that correct (or should it be affect)?

— 24.✗.✗.173

January 20, 2009, 12:11am

As a kid, I learned the "RAVEN" mnemonic for these two words:

Affect =
Effect =

Hope this helps others!

— 209.✗.✗.126
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