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What is the Difference Between the words "Affect" and "Effect"?

What are the meaning of "Affect" and "Effect"? And why are these words different?



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Although both words are pronounced and spelled ALMOST the same way, and are easily confused, there are some important differences to remember when being grammatically correct.  The word “affect” has a Latin origin, meaning “to do something to act on”. While the word “effect” is also of Latin origin, meaning “to bring about”.

To explain this better think of them in terms of being emotionally “affected”, and physically “effected”. Affect is more commonly used in today’s English language as a verb, and to use it as a noun would be considered outdated. It has two primary definitions that are very similar. It’s usually used in reference to the change of someone’s emotional or mental condition, BUT can also be used when referring the someone or something changing at all, physical or emotionally. Clear as mud? Here are some examples: “Will the survey affect any upcoming change in policies?” “The movie affected her so much she was weeping.”

Effect is used as a noun, occasionally a verb, and can also have various definitions. As a noun, it is most commonly used in reference to an end result. When used as a verb, it’s usually in reference to the change of a direct action. An example of it being used as a noun would be: “The survey will have no effect on the policies.” If it were being used as a verb an example would be: “The effected changes in policies are due to the survey results.”

These two words are commonly mistaken for homophones, or synonyms, but they’re neither. An example of the use of both words in a sentence would be: “The effects of the poor decisions by management will greatly affect our profits this year.”

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