Difference between Affect and Effect – The Easiest Way to Remember the Concept

How many times have you get confused between effect and effect? Do you make a common mistake every time you write? You will be relaxed to know that you are not the one who faces this problem. Even people with good grammatical skills make this common mistake. They often get perplexed about the usage of such similar words. Using similar words or homophones can be confusing. There is nothing to feel ashamed about it. Most people are not certain when to use these two specific words.

While texting or writing or even speaking, people unknowingly get stumbled between such words. It is quite natural. These two words spell almost the same. Even the English speaking people do not have a fair idea when to use effect and effect in a particular sentence. But for academic students, this sort of silly error can make serious damage as far as the grades are concerned. They may end up losing crucial grades due to this common problem.

Don’t worry. This blog will help you to understand the significance of these two words differently. If you are having a problem to use these words in a specific context, read out the blog to make out the difference. Here you can get a clear picture of the difference between these two words and their usage depending on the context.

Affect and Effect

Definition of Affect and Effect:

To clear out the confusion, the first thing you need to do is to understand the meaning of these words appropriately. Otherwise, the confusion will remain the same.

Meaning of Effect:

Effect means the result of an action. This word resembles an effect due to a certain cause. Such as: if you do not sleep on time, it will have an effect on your health. The effect is in general used as a noun form. If you are trying to establish the impact of a phenomenon, you can use this word ‘effect’.

Meaning of Affect:

Affect is a verb that assembles to influence something. It literally means ‘to produce a change’. Whenever you use affect, it signifies how something has influenced an action to happen. For example: continuous change in weather is affecting his health.

As you can see, these are the simplified definition of those words. However, it is common to get confused about how and when to use these two words correctly as there are huge differences in usage.

Rules of Affect and Effect:

While defining these two words correctly, it is said that the main difference between these words is in their use. Affect is a verb whereas effect is used as a noun. As far as the general rules of English grammars are concerned, the position of these words will be different. But exceptions are here as well which you will get to know later.

Look at the examples to understand the difference between Affect and Effect:

We have already discussed the difference between these two homophones. Apart from that, there is not much difference. Affect and effect is nothing but is two different parts of speech. Let’s simplified the things for you to make it much easier:

When something affects someone, then that person experiences the effect of that thing’s action. This simple example will help you to understand the use of these two similar words effectively in a sentence.

How to use ‘Affect’ in a sentence? Understand with a proper example:

If we do not talk about the exception here, ‘Affect’ is generally treated as a verb. The meaning generally assembles an impact to produce a change in something. Look at the below-mentioned examples to get a clear knowledge about the usage of this word:

  • Improper sleeping habit affects mental growth.
  • Excessive usage of mobile phones can affect your eyesight.
  • Mumbai flood has affected thousands of lives.

Hopefully, these examples will be useful enough to make you understand the use of the word.

How to use ‘Effect’ in a sentence? Understand with a proper example:

On the other hand, effect is used as a noun. It shows the result of a change. By using this word, you are going to experience the effect of a change. Have a look at the examples for more clarity:

  • Excessive use of plastics makes a deadly effect on the environment.
  • Due to the effect of rainfall, the temperature has gone down.
  • Increased pollution level is creating a severe effect on the earth.

As you can see, the word ‘effect’ is mostly used as a noun. You can stick to the rule at the time of formation of a sentence. But there are certain exceptions which you need to understand.

Go through the examples of ‘affect’ and ‘effect’:

When you know how to use ‘Affect’ and ‘Effect’ in a sentence, the next thing you need to do is take a step forward. You should know the exceptions of using these words. As you learn the exception, you need to bend the standard rule of English grammars. There is some specific context where you may need to use ‘effect’ as a verb and ‘affect’ as a noun.

How to use effect as a verb?

When the context requires, you can use ‘effect’ as a verb as well. However, it changes the meaning of the sentence completely. ‘Effect’ when used as verb, changes the context entirely. Effect word can be used as verb which may mean ‘change’ or ‘solution’.

Read out the examples to understand more:

The government’s recent policies effected a change in the country’s employment.

As you can see here, the word ‘effect’ has been used as ‘bring out’. To get a clearer meaning, you can translate the sentence into ‘the government’s recent policies bring out a change in the country’s employment’. The word ‘affect’ would not justify the sentence. It would bring out a completely new sense.

The word ‘affect’ literally means ‘to impact’ or ‘to change’. It would change the meaning of the sentence completely. You were not intended to imply a change or an impact here. Though both of the sentences are correct, the context and the meaning are significantly different.

How to use ‘Affect’ as a noun?

While using as a noun, ‘affect’ means emotions or feelings. Though most of the time the word is used as a verb, in certain cases, you can use this word to imply someone’s particular emotion or feeling.

For example: Her affect seems to be arrogant towards the common employees of the company.

Instead of using feeling or emotion, here we have used the word ‘affect’. The word ‘effect’ would not make any sense in this sentence, as you can see.

How to use ‘affected’ as an adjective?

Hardly anyone knows that the word ‘affected’ can also be used as an adjective besides using it as past and past participle. Affected in adjective form means pretentious, artificial or designed to impress. It does not mean that you can use this word to compliment someone. In a deeper sense, the word ‘affected’ as an adjective normally implies the fact that someone is behaving like important than he or she actually is.

Check out the below-mentioned example to understand the use of ‘affected’ as an adjective:

She made an affected inquiry for the crime.

You can see that it is not possible to use the word ‘effected’ in this context as it would change the meaning of the sentence. It would not make the same sense if you had chosen the word ‘effected’ here.

The common mistakes made by people while using ‘affecting’ and ‘effecting’:

Due to confusion between these two words, people seem to make silly mistakes while using any of these words. The usage of the words becomes a difficult task not only for students but also for scholars.

For instance, ‘Drinking has an adverse effect on your health.’

Here, you can notice that you have made a common mistake while choosing the right word for the sentence. The word ‘effect’ is not a genuine choice to make as it is distorting the meaning of the sentence. If you want to use the word ‘effect’ in this sentence, you need to construct the sentence in a different way. Sometimes, people use ‘effect’ as a verb.

For example: He effected his escape through the rear window.

Though ‘effected’ is here used as a verb, the confusion remains the same. These are some of the common grammatical mistakes that most people make while writing or speaking.

How to remember the difference?

Most people have no idea how to differentiate between these two words. Whenever asked, they seem blanked. But you need to know when and how to use these words efficiently without making any common mistake. When someone asks you the difference between these two words, you should have an answer. This blog is all about making you understand the different contexts and different sentence formations using these two homophones.

Here is the simplest trick to remember to avoid making mistakes while using ‘affect’ and ‘effect’:

The word ‘affect’ starts with an ‘A’ and it means action. And action means a verb. That means you can associate ‘affect’ with a verb.

By remembering this, you can easily interpret the difference between these similar words.

A quick recap of the summary:

In this entire blog, you get to know the basic difference between these two words. Let’s take a quick recap of the whole thing to remember these points:

  • While forming a sentence, you need to use the word ‘affect’ as a verb. It means ‘to change’ or ‘to impact’.
  • The word ‘effect’ is a noun and it means ‘the result of the change’.
  • There are some exceptions where you cannot use these words as a verb or as a noun.
  • In certain cases, you can use ‘effect’ as a verb to imply the meaning ‘to bring about’.
  • There are times where you may need to use ‘affect’ as a noun to assemble ‘feeling’ or ‘emotion’.
  • Sometimes ‘affected’ can be used as an adjective. It stands for ‘pretentious’ or ‘artificial’.
  • To make things simpler, you only need to remember that the basic difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ is in their meaning and their use in spoken form.

We hope that this blog has cleared the basic confusion between these two words. Now you do not have any problem remembering the correct way to use these words. If you understand these common grammatical usages of these words, you will make lesser mistakes while writing. As a result, your academic grades will improve.

Read also: Essential good language features that students must know

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Author’s Bio:

Penny Cooper is a professional academic writer. She has been writing academic blogs and articles for Assignment Help writing services to help troubled students. You can read her write-ups on many educational platforms.