Difference between Affect and Effect

Jun 4, 2011 by

What is the Difference between Affect and Effect?

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  1. katrina

    Of the many words that exist in the English language, there has been evidently much confusion imposed by the numerous terms and their associated meanings. While there are terms that are simple to use and understand, there are others that are more often, being used to mean for another word. Tow most commonly misconstrued words are affect and effect. While affect can also pertain to one’s emotion or feelings, affect in this context will basically mean the act of influencing or initiating a certain level of change. Effect, on the other hand, is a word that is more often defined as a result or an output of something being worked on.

    Apart from definition, the words affect and effect are basically different in how they are being used in sentences. In using the word affect, it more frequently imposes on a thing being a factor that possesses a great deal of influence or change towards the final end. Effect, however, does not come in the possession of imposing change or uniqueness to another subject or object of interest. Effect, by nature, is simply referring to what the result or output is.

    In this light, the two words can be simply differentiated as affect being a factor to arrive at an effect or basically, the result.

    In addition to the disparities in definition and use, affect and effect also differ on impact. While affect poses great emphasis on how factors are able to influence, effect can imply as the sole consequence or product.

    Regardless of their differences, affect and effect are more often used in conjunction with each other as they as complimentary terms. In conclusion, it can be implied that there can be no effect if no factors are known to affect a certain interest.

  2. tom

    Affect vs Effect

    The words “affect” and “effect” are often confused with each other because of their close spellings and pronunciations. Even for some who have been using the English language for quite some time already, it will not be surprising if they still misuse the two. Nevertheless, here’s how you distinguish the usage of both.

    “Affect” is more commonly used as a verb. In its verb form, it can either mean “change something” or “move the feeling.” A good example for the first is, “How will the President’s remarks change the way people think?” For the second, an example is, “The music affected her so deeply that she sobbed.” “Affect” has lots of synonyms like: alter, disturb, influence, modify, overcome, transform, take on, act on, change, induce, and many more.

    By contrast, “effect” is more commonly treated as a noun. Although it has lots of related definitions or meanings, “effect” in its broadest sense signifies “a result” or “a certain worldly phenomenon.” An example of the first is, “The President’s remarks made little or no effect on the way people think.” For the second, “A greenhouse effect is described as the accumulation or trapping of harmful gases.”

    Alternatively, “affect” can also be treated as a noun. As such, it can mean a person’s mood or current state of mind. And so in the realm of psychology, it is very ordinary to hear healthcare providers say “The patient displayed a blank affect.” This means that his mood was emotionless, flat, and unable to respond to any external stimuli – an appearance usually manifested by schizophrenic patients. As a noun, “affect” can also mean an affectation to somebody like in the sentence, “His affect was one worth following, but most of us, who knew him pretty well, knew him otherwise.”

    In rare occasions, the word “effect” can also be used as a verb. In this sense, it will mean making something happen like, “The CEO’s new vision about the new ecosystem finally effected the change.” In this example, the term is usually added with the suffix “ed.” Using “effect” as a verb is very tricky because its usage is very close compared to how the term “affect” in its past verb form (with “ed”) is used.


    1.“Affect” is more commonly used as a verb rather than as a noun.
    2.“Effect” is more commonly used as a noun rather than as a verb.
    3.“Affect” as a verb means “change something” or “move the feeling.”
    4.“Effect” as a noun means “a result” or “a worldly phenomenon.”

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