March 21, 2018

Effect vs. Affect

The Difference Between Effect And Affect

It is very easy to mix up effect and affect. This blunder is made by most people, including students. People are often puzzled when they need to make a choice between the two words. It’s common to hear phrases like “Should I use affect or effect?

In brief, affect is usually used as a verb, and effect is usually used as a noun. Affect means “to impact,” while an effect is the result of an impact. To further the point, let’s imagine this scenario. If Donald pushes Mickey into a car, Donald affects where Mickey is, and Mickey’s wound is the effect of Donald’s deliberate act.

In this scene, Donald has performed the action, which demands the use of the verb affect. The wound that was the effect of that action is a noun.

Affect and effect are homophones, meaning they are pronounced the same way, like here and hear, died and dyed, and several other examples. Therefore, you need some rules to guide you to the right choice of word.

Below are the rules that will assist you in knowing when it is right for you to use effect vs. affect.

When it is Right to Use Affect

Regarding the meaning of affect, we have seen that it means “to bring about a change in something or to something.” This short definition should be easy to remember. This definition can be identified as a short rule.


  • The drug you are about to take will affect your sight.
  • His devotion to football affected his performance in school.
  • The dream he had affected his thinking.
  • All the men who gathered at the scene were affected by the baby’s piteous cry.
  • In the universe, gravity affects everything.

Here is a tip to take along these examples. Verbs are Action words, and the word affect starts with an “A.”

When it is Right to Use Effect

Effect is a noun. The meaning of effect is “the result of an action performed.” In a simple way, if a particular event affects your health, you will certainly feel the event’s effect. Very simple!

Let’s pick a few examples of this word too.


  • The effect of the hurricane was devastating.
  • You will feel the effect of the drug you took in next ten minutes.
  • His win had an effect on his level of performance.
  • These are the most common side effects of the antibiotics.
  • The drug recommended by the physician is very effective.

Here is a tip to travel with: When you think about effect, think “cause.” What is the relationship here? A cause leads to an effect. Therefore, the last letter of cause, “E,” begins effect. Isn’t that great?

What Will Help You Remember the Difference

Remember the tips for both affect and effect. However, there are a few exceptions. That is English for you; the exceptions call for shifts. But for a start, keep an eye on these basics, and you will have no problem identifying the few exceptions. Keep your eyes on these two words.