Difference between affect and effect

The difference between the common uses of affect and effect lies in their part of speech. Affect is a verb, whereas effect is a noun. The verb affect means to have an influence on, impact, or change; as a noun, effect means the result of a change.

Affect vs. effect differences

Affect and effect are homophones, making them hard to tell apart. It’s easy to remember how to use the correct word using the mnemonic RAVEN:

  • R – Remember
  • A – Affect
  • V – Verb
  • E – Effect
  • N – Noun

Affect vs. effect remember how to use

Table of Contents

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  1. Differences
  2. Uses
  3. Examples

When to use affect and effect

Affect is almost always used as a verb. Effect is almost always used as a noun to identify a result of an action. It usually follows the words an, any, into, on, or, take, and the; affect does not.

Affect as a verb:

  1. How does one's personality affect their relationships with others?
  2. The rain will affect the number of trick-or-treaters tonight.

Affect use rules

Effect as a noun:

  1. What effect did the preseason have on the players?
  2. Did the new job have any effect on his schoolwork?

Effect use rules

However, there are a couple of exceptions to the affect and effect rules.

Affect can be used as a noun when referring to an emotional response. The noun affect is usually pronounced with the stress on the first syllable.

  • The young child's facial expressions had a happy affect.
  • She took the news with a flat affect.

Affect as a noun

Effect can be used as a verb when meaning "to cause or bring about:"

  • The new owner is likely to effect changes in positive worker morale.
  • The boss will put the new changes into effect on Monday.

Effect as a verb

Affect vs. effect examples

The following example sentences use affect or effect:

Affect example sentences:

  • Getting a good night's rest before the SATs can positively affect a student's performance.
  • The teacher knew the extra credit on the project would affect the students' effort.
  • How has the lower crime rate affected the population of the town?
  • Movies and books tend to affect people differently.
  • Staying inside can directly affect a person's mood.

Effect example sentences:

  • What will be the effect of closing the store early on the weekends?
  • The soft, gentle tone of the singer's voice had a calming effect.
  • Among the effects left in the abounded house was a box of antique coins.
  • What is the negative effect of missing the playoffs for the second year in a row?
  • The doctor stressed that the patient would have to wait to see if the treatment had a positive effect or if it caused any side effects.

What you learned:

After working your way through this lesson and video, you have learned:

  • The differences bettwen affect and effect
  • When to use affect or effect
  • Example sentences using effect and affact
Instructor: Malcolm M.
Malcolm has a Master's Degree in education and holds four teaching certificates. He has been a public school teacher for 27 years, including 15 years as a mathematics teacher.

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