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Difference between Effect and Affect?

What's the proper Use of Effect and Affect?

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The words in the English language can sometimes confuse us because they have similar sounds, spelling, and some people think they are interchangeable. Affect and effect for example are often used incorrectly.

Effect is being used as a noun as well as a verb depending on how it is being placed in a sentence. Effect as a noun means the product of a cause or a result or a consequence of an action or event. For example in this sentence, “Skin darkening is the effect of too much exposure to sunlight.”

Another use of the word effect is to emphasize effectiveness or accomplishment. An example is stated in the sentence, “Take into effect your plans.” The word effect also implies efficacy or validity or its ability to produce influence. Aside from being a noun, the word effect can also be used as a verb which means to accomplish or to make an event happen.

The word affect when used as a verb, implies different meanings. Sometimes, the word can be used as a verb that implies producing an effect. Example, “The dry season affected the growth of the crops.” Sometimes, it will also imply movements of feelings or emotions. The word affect is also being used as a noun and the word implies emotions or feelings. Affect is actually a very common term in the field of psychology wherein the word implies any emotional response. An affect can be blank or restricted depending on how the person shows it.

It is very important for us to know the definitions of these two similar words so that we will know how they can be used properly and imply their correct meaning. If we use them interchangeably or incorrectly, we may not be able to give the readers or listeners the correct message.


There is often confusion over the words effect and affect. In order to understand which to use, you must know the difference between a noun and a verb.

Effect is a noun. Affect is a verb. If you're not confident with spotting nouns and verbs, there are workarounds to help to choose the right one. 


Affect is a verb, meaning to cause something to happen. Effect is a noun, which is the result of having happened. Here are two sentences that illustrate:

Mary wondered if her tutoring of John would beneficially affect his grades. ( "Affect" to cause his grades to improve --Verb)

John got an A on his exam, due to the positive effect of Mary's tutoring. ("Effect" the positive result of Mary's tutoring -- Noun)

Lots of people confuse those two words. I hope this helps to clarify.

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