Affect vs Effect: What’s the Difference?

English grammar is at times confusing. Some words are difficult to pronounce, other words that are almost impossible to spell without using a dictionary, and some words sound very similar (homophone) but have very different definitions. Perhaps there are no two words in English that cause a grammatical struggle other than the use of affected vs effected. To know when to use the correct word, you must know its exact meaning when speaking or writing.

What Does “Affect” Mean?

  1. It means to influence
  2. To emotionally move someone

The word “affect” is used in a similar as;

  • Concern
  • Impress
  • Influence
  • Move
  • Strike
  • Stir
  • Sway
  • Touch

Examples of “affect” in a sentence

  • His happiness affected his mental recovery.
  • The long dry period affected our crop production this year
  • His fantastic speech was meant to affect those who were sad.

Learning point

The term “affect” is often used as a verb, but it can also sometimes be a noun. Using “affect” as a noun is a much rarer use case than simply using the word “effect.”

What Does “Effect” Mean?

  1. Means a result or outcome
  2. Power to show or lead to something
  3. Scientific event

The word “effect” is used in a similar as:

  • Conclusion
  • Consequence
  • Fate
  • Outcome
  • Product
  • Result
  • Sequence
  • Matter of course

Examples of “effect” in a sentence

  • The effect of the whole performance made me very happy.
  • The greenhouse effect is becoming more apparent.
  • The effect of the lightning striking the tree was a wildfire.

Learning point

The word “effect” is, in most cases, used as a noun. There are also some rare cases when used in the past tense where “effect” can be a verb such as in the sentence “nature always effected a cure.”

Examples of Using “Affect” and “Effect” in Sentences

Sometimes you may need to use both words, effect and affect, in a sentence. This is definitely possible as you can see from the following examples.

Examples of using “affect” and “effect” in a sentence

  • The greenhouse effect can affect our climate if not checked.
  • The effects of this virus will soon affect those who are not sick.
  • The drug had an immediate effect on the affected body part.
  • His text message affected his driving and the effect was that he got in a car accident.


Normally the word “affect” is used as a verb and “effect” is used as a noun. For you to avoid confusion when using these two words, remember “affect” is used when you need a verb while “effect” is used when a noun is required in a context.

See Also:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here