affect vs effect

Affect vs. Effect: How to Differentiate Quickly

There are a large number of words in a dictionary that sounds alike. Yes, we call them homophones or you can use some other words for them.

This includes, write/right, hear/here and so on. Telling the difference between them is easy, isn’t it? You know when you should use right and when you have to use the word write. Think if you use them vice versa, well you cant obviously, as the sentences won’t make sense. Each word has its own meaning and has their impact.

But, these words are easy as they have meanings that are far apart from each other. Then there are few words like affect and effect. Both have the same sounds and both the same meaning as well. Not same exactly but similar. Isn’t it?

Their use is so difficult at times that most writers instead of choosing these words prefer using synonyms like impact. But, a person who knows his work very well would not prefer doing that. It shows how professional the work is and takes the credibility of the article to the whole new level.

But, don’t worry, there are few simple tricks that can help you master it.

Find the difference with this punctuation checker if you have sample text.

What’s The Difference?

Generally speaking, the key difference between affect and effect is that affect is a verb and effect is a noun. This is something that you will read everywhere you try to look for the difference between affect and effect. But, what does it actually means is something that used to make me scratch my head a lot.

The easiest way to understand this is that if A does something that affects B, then B is actually experiencing the effect of A.

Let me give you an example if Sara pushed John. Then, the push that Sara has generated is affecting John.

On the other hand, John falls because of a push from Sara. The fall that John has faced is the effect of Sara’s action.

The effect is actually the result that has been created due to the action that is affect.

It can also be stated that affect is actually the generation of any change or any action that is producing it. In contrast, the effect is the result that is created due to the change.

Both of the words are different yet they sound similar. They have their own use. But, sometimes it becomes so difficult for people they start using them vice versa. Doing that can make you lose your readers trust as a writer.

Use Of Affect:

Affect as stated earlier is actually the action that is producing any change. It should be used as a verb.

For example:

  1. Global warming is affecting the temperature throughout the world.
  2. The pollution is affecting a lot of people and animals.

These are some of the examples that you can use as a model. In both of them, we are describing the action of something. Thus, here we are going to use the word affect.

Use of Effect:

The effect is actually a noun. It is showing that the result of the change that has been produced.

For example:

  1. The rise in temperature is the effect of global warming.
  2. The effect of missing drug dose has proved devastating for him.

Thus, use effect when you are actually describing the result of an action that has already happened. On

the other hand use effect when you are mentioning the action.

How to Remember

Now, the thing is that you can read it and might have understood the difference also, but remembering

it always is something that troubles a lot of people. There is an easy trick to remember all this that you have learned. The word Affect starts from A that means action. The action is equivalent to the verb. So, when you are describing any act then use the verb affect. In contrast, remember effect as the noun.

Besides this, there is another trick to remember this. Just remember the word RAVEN. This is because RAVEN contain letters R-A-V-E-N.

A-    Affect

V- verb

E- effect

N- noun

Some Exceptions!

Well, this is the general rule that you have learned. Now, you know that when you have action what you should and when you are using a noun what should be done then.  But, there are some exceptions as well.

In a few circumstances, we use affect as a noun and effect as a verb. Let me show you some examples:

Effect As Verb

The effect is used as a verb in cases when you want to bring about anything. For example

The people wanted to effect change in the current policy.

Here the effect is actually representing an action.

Affect As Noun

On the other hand, affect is used as a noun when you are showing any emotional state or feeling.

For example

  1. All the people were affected by the story.

Here the word affected shows that the story had created an impact on people’s emotion.

To Sum Up!

This was the easiest way how you can differentiate between affect and effect. Being a writer it is very important for you to use the right participle. Affect and effect are usually different words that have the same voices but their meanings are far from each other.

One quick tip is to practice this from today. Whenever you are using the words affect/effect be careful. Use them in their correct way. Not just this, go through your older drafts as well and see how you have used these words previously.


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