AFFECT and EFFECT

affect-and-effect

EFFECT

(noun)

  • A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
  • Cause (something) to happen; bring about.

AFFECT

(verb)

  • to have an effect on; make a difference to.
  • touch the feeling of.

There is often confusion over the words effect and affect. In order to understand which to use, one must know the difference between a noun and a verb. Effect is a noun. Affect is a verb.

Trick to spot Effect

The word effect can mean outcome, consequence, or appearance. Try using one of these instead of effect. If the sentence still makes sense, then effect is almost certainly correct because, effect is a noun, just like the words outcome, consequence, and appearance.

Example:

The effects of the Tylenol should be felt within twenty minutes.

(Try substituting the noun effect with the noun consequence. “The consequences of the Tylenol should be felt within twenty minutes.” < sounds ok; hence, effect is correct)

White paint will give the effect that the room is very large.

(Try substituting the noun effect with the noun appearance. “White paint will give the appearance that the room is very large.” < sounds ok; therefore, effect is correct)

Trick to spot Affect

The word affect can mean transform. Try using the verb to transform (transforming, transformed, transforms) instead of effect. If the sentence still makes sense, then affect is almost certainly correct.

Example:

His speech affected my outlook towards life.

(Try substituting the verb affected with verb transformed. “His speech transformed my outlook towards life.” <makes sense; hence, affect is correct)

The price of gasoline affects the economy.

(Try substituting the verb affects with the verb transforms. “The price of gasoline transforms the economy.” <sounds ok; hence, affect is correct)

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