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Affect V.S. Effect

Sep 24, 2018 - 10:57 AM

How well do you know the difference between affect and effect?

Affect and Effect are different in meaning, though frequently confused. Affect is chiefly used as a verb and its main meaning is ‘to influence or make a difference to’, as in the following example sentences:

The pay increase will greatly affect their lifestyle.

The dampness began to affect my health.

The weather will affect my plans for the weekend.

Effect, on the other hand, is used both as a noun and a verb, although is more commonly used as a noun. As a noun it means ‘a result or an influence’, as in:

Move the cursor until you get the effect you want.

The beneficial effects of exercise are well documented.

Over time the effect of loud music can damage your hearing.

When used as a verb effect means ‘to bring something about as a result’. It’s most often used in a formal context as oppose to everyday English:

Growth in the economy can only be effected by stringent economic controls.

The new policies did little to effect change.

The prime minister effected many policy changes.

The key thing to remember is that effect is most commonly used as a noun, whereas affect is typically used as a verb.
Research suggests that the neighborhood you live in can affect how well your children perform at school.
The long periods of separation never affected her love for her mother.
Continuous rain since mid-June has resulted in widespread flooding, affecting over 119 million people.
He is in no doubt that thousands of people will be seriously affected if this proposal becomes a reality.
Effect is used as both a noun and a verb, though the noun use is much more common than the verb. As a noun, effect means ‘a result or an influence’:

It was clear that the strong windy conditions were going to have an immediate effect on the result of the game.
The beneficial effects of exercise are well documented.
Corporations need to think about the long-term effects of their actions.
The legislation had the effect of pushing up the cost of houses.
As a verb, effect means ‘to bring something about as a result’. It’s often used in quite formal contexts, such as written reports, rather than everyday English:

The couple had been separated for two years, but her boyfriend tried to effect a reconciliation.
A Royal Commission appointed in 1906 effected several reforms.
Governments can mobilize the political will and resources to effect change when they choose to.
The key thing to remember is that affect is typically used as a verb:

A bout of rheumatic fever in his youth had affected his health throughout his life.
On the other hand, effect is most commonly used as a noun:

Participants were asked to volunteer for a study looking at the effects of stress on their health.