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Affect Vs. Effect – Use the Words Correctly While Writing

Writing expertly in English requires you to know the meaning of different terms and phrases correctly. There are many terms that sound similar but whose spellings and, therefore, meanings are different. One of the most common pairings of such a word is ‘affect’ and ‘effect.’ A huge majority of writers or those new to business writing struggle to know the difference between affect vs. effect. Now, both these terms can be verbs and nouns. So, if you misuse them, it will ruin the meaning of the entire sentence or paragraph. However, don’t think that you cannot remember the difference and use them correctly. In this post, you’ll find their correct usage with lots of examples.

Also Read: Colon V/S Semicolon: Understanding the Difference

Affect Vs. Effect – What Makes Them Different?

Many people mistakenly use these words in place of one another. However, using ‘affect’ when you need to use ‘effect’ changes the meaning of your entire sentence. Similarly, vice versa is also true.

To use these words correctly, you need to know the meaning of both these terms(affect vs. effect). ‘Affect’ means to produce a result or an effect. On the other hand, ‘effect’ is something that gets generated by a consequence or a cause. The examples below will help you understand their usage in more detail.

  • If the leader is not working, it affects the productivity of his team.
  • If I am on leave, it will have a disturbing effect on the productivity of my team.
  • The Amphan cyclone affected people within 50 miles of the area.
  • The effects of cyclone Amphan were tragic.
  • The drug will affect your mind negatively.
  • You will feel the effect of the drug for about an hour.
  • The poor performance of the marketing department has adversely affected our sales.
  • The poor performance of the marketing department will adversely affect our sales.

Usage of ‘Affect’ as a Verb

Another key affect vs. effect difference is that the most common usage of the word affect is a verb. You will almost always find it being employed as an action word or a verb in order to influence a person or an object. It will not be used to cause something to happen.

Here are some good examples that will allow you to find the word’s usage as a verb.

  • How do an individual’s personality and character affect their success in a specific job?
  • The climatic conditions will affect people who’ll arrive at the outdoor event.
  • Music affects people of different age groups in different manners.
  • The surprise visit of my uncle yesterday affected my plans for the day.

Usage of ‘Affect’ as a Noun

Although ‘affect’ is used as a verb most often, you must not forget that the English language is replete with exceptions. Most rules have various exceptions, which is quite true of the differences between affect vs. effect. One of the prominent exceptions is when the word is used as a noun.

You can use ‘affect’ as a noun when showcasing emotions. Not only that, but you can also use ‘affect’ as a verb, but this time, it can mean ‘to put on’ or to ‘feign.’ Here are some examples that will enable you to understand these exceptions better.

  • The patient can express an array of affects.
  • The girl’s facial expressions had a funny affect.
  • Mary considered the news of her agency shifting to Oregon with little affect.

Usage of ‘Effect’ as a Noun

The word ‘effect’ implies the final result of an event or action. In its noun form, ‘effect’ is used to generate an impression. For example, when you are explaining the impacts of an event. But in its verb form, ‘effect’ causes something to occur. This usage of the word ‘effect’ is quite rare.

Here are some examples of when you use this word as a noun.

  • Ashley added a necklace to her outfit for effect.
  • The second glass of liquor had no effect on Samuel.
  • This law will come into effect next month.

Usage of ‘Effect’ as a verb

You’ll not find ‘effect’ being used as a verb often. Its usage as a verb is relatively uncommon. However, it is still worth knowing about. As a verb, the meaning of ‘effect’ is to accomplish something or cause something to occur. Given below are some examples through which you can understand the word’s use as a verb.

  • The strike effected a shift of positions within the organization.
  • The angry protestors wanted to effect change in the government.

In these examples, if you use the word ‘affect’ instead of ‘effect,’ it would mean to impact change or to have an effect on change. In the second example, angry protestors who desired to ‘affect change’ would be attempting to impact current changes. Although it’s fine, it’s not as impactful as making change.

Look at the following example: ‘What once appeared as a small way to keep in touch with relatives and friends has undoubtedly turned into a major force for change in society…empowering people to effect change in various ways.’

If this discussion revolved around what social media had to do with people attempting to ‘affect change,’ its meaning would change. It would imply that people are trying to slow down, speed up or halt every form of change that involve social media. Ironically, it can be easier to ‘effect change’ with an impactful Facebook movement instead of ‘affect the changes’ that are occurring in society due to the increasing usage of social media.

Affect Vs. Effect – How Do You Make the Right Choice?

It is indeed tricky to be thorough with the several definitions that each term comes with. But you can make use of different mnemonic devices to remember the differences between them.

As a standard rule, if you are writing about the reasons and results and implying the end consequences of the reason, it’s wise to use ‘effect.’ On the other hand, if you are writing about bringing a change or impacting another entity, use ‘affect.’

Summing up

Hopefully, you will find yourself quite familiar with the differences between ‘affect and’ effect by now. Go through the examples in this article again and if you have any queries, reach out to the experts of an assignment help service. They will assist you in writing correctly and expressing your opinions in a manner that impresses your readers.