Affect vs Effect
What Is the Difference?
two words that are often confused in the
English language. Many people do not know how to use them correctly.
Even native English speakers sometimes mix these up in their writing.
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The problem is that "affect" and "effect" are usually pronounced the
same. They are homophones
Homophones are words that sound the same but
have different meanings.
It is important that you
know their meanings and use them correctly in
These two words can have a big effect
Using them incorrectly will affect
meanings of your sentences and
confuse your readers.
Most of the time, you
will follow these rules:
- Use "Affect" as
meaning "to influence."
- Use "Effect" as
meaning "the result."
verb (to influence)
noun (the result)
- The rain might affect
(The rain might influence/change their picnic.)
- The effect
of the rain was I got wet.
(The result of the rain was I got wet.)
- The noise affected
(The noise influence my sleep.)
- The effect
of the noise was a lack of sleep.
(The result of the noise was a lack of sleep.)
"Affect" is most commonly used as a verb
- to influence
- to change something or someone
- to cause strong emotions
It is a transitive
. This means it always takes a direct
- The rain will affect.
(no direct object)
word "affect" is an action. This is a good way to remember its use as a
- The rain will affect
(picnic = direct object)
Affect = Action
- The hot days affect
the flowers in my garden.
- Your homework affects
your final grade.
- The bad news affected
- This evidence will affect his
- My back pain is affecting
my ability to sleep.
- Smoking cigarettes has affected my
"Effect" is most commonly used as a noun
meaning "the result or
- The effect
of earning a college degree is a better job.
- Two effects
of drinking alcohol are blurred vision and loss of memory.
- Higher taxes have an effect on
- He stopped smoking cigarettes because of the negative effects.
- The snow had a negative effect on
"Effect" is also sometimes used as a noun
to talk about an image or
sound created in movies, television, or music.
- special effects
- visual effects
- sound effects
When "effect" is used in this way, it is usually plural.
- The special
effects of the movie were amazing!
- The animal sound
effects made me feel like I was in the forest.
- I enjoyed the visual
effects in the movie, "Star Wars."
Less common uses of "affect" and
Most of the time, you will use "affect
as a verb
However, there are less common uses of the words.
Doctors and psychiatrists
sometimes use "affect" as a noun when
referring to mood or emotions.
Most people do not use this
Sometimes "effect" is
used as a verb meaning "to bring about" or "to
- She showed an angry affect.
- The patient displayed a happy affect.
- The drugs produced an angry affect in
Again, most people do not use this is
- The new mayor hopes to effect
positive changes in the city.
accomplish positive changes)
- The police officer will effect the
arrest of the thief.
(to bring about
Although you should be aware of these uses in case you see them in
writing, please remember that these are very rare uses
These were the differences of affect and effect. Now that you
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