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Exploring The Differences Between Effect And Affect

Learn the fundamental difference between effect and affect

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Effect vs Affect
 John  29 Feb, 2020  Assignment

Exploring The Differences Between Effect And Affect

A lot of English-speaking people confuse between similar sounding words while writing. We all have been their. Sorry, I mean “there”. While they may sound similar, these homonyms don’t always carry the same meaning. Such a pair of homonyms is effect and affect. And if you still don’t know when to use affect and effect, this blog is going to be quite helpful to you.

If you start a comparative analysis of effect vs affect, we will find a great number of differences between these two words. And to understand these differences, we need to get to the basics. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between affect and effect from a fundamental point of view. So, keep reading to discover the difference between affect and effect with examples.

Effect vs Affect: Overview

Like any other homonym, it is easy to mix up effect and affect. However, if you are wondering, “How do I remember the difference between affect and effect”, just acknowledge the fact that affect is generally used as a verb while effect is generally used as a noun.

The meaning of the word “affect” is to impact or change or to act on.

The meaning of the word "effect" is a result or consequence.

There’s a trick to remember the difference between these two words. The word raven can help you remember the fundamentals of effect vs affect.

  • Remember
  • Affect is a
  • Verb
  • Effect is a
  • Noun

You can thank for coming up with this great hack.

While there’s only a letter’s difference in effect and affect, the meaning of these two words is also very close. That’s the primary reason why people get confused between these two.

If X affects Y, then Y experiences the effect of X’s action.

This is how these two words are fundamentally connected. The problem begins when the words are used outside their usual application. Interestingly, “affect” can be used as a noun, and “effect” can be used as a verb in a sentence. But in most of the cases, the concept of RAVEN is applicable.

When to use “effect”?

As you have already learned, effect means the result or consequence of a change. If you forget about the exceptions, this word is generally used as a noun. Here are some examples.

  • The whole team had to suffer the effects of Harman’s poor leadership.
  • The effect of Amazon rainforest fire was felt across several Latin American countries.
  • We could see the effect of the senator's speech on all the major parties.

Hopefully, you got the idea about the general application of the word "effect". So, let’s move to the next word.

When to use “affect”?

While effect was the result of an impact, affect refers to the action or the impact itself. So, if you leave out the exceptions, affect is generally used as a verb. Here are some examples of its use:

  • The outbreak of the Corona Virus in China has affected the automobile industry.
  • If you continue to eat like this, it will affect your overall health.
  • Your words do not affect my way of thinking.

Like most of us, you will also use "affect" as a verb in most cases. Hopefully, these examples have helped you learn its application well.

The Exceptions

As mentioned, there are plenty of instances where you may see the use of “effect” and “affect” in a different way than usual. Those are exceptions. And as you may have heard this before, exceptions should be cited as regular examples. But if you want to learn the difference between affect and effect, you need to be aware of the exceptions as well.

Effect as a verb:

When the word effect is used as a verb, it means “to bring about”. This verb is usually followed by a noun like “solutions” or “change”, depending on the context of the sentence.  Proofreading play important role when you proofread your assignment. Let’s check out a few examples.

  • Social media campaigns are a great way to effect change in people’s opinion.
  • Her resolution to effect change in her lifestyle was a total failure.

Now, it is important to understand why the word "effect" is used as a verb in these examples instead of "affect" which is generally used as a verb. Well, using "affect" in these sentences would mean that the subject wants "to have an effect on change". But in these examples, the subject wants to create change, which is slightly different than having an effect, and more powerful.

Affect as a noun:

Now, "affect" which is usually used as a verb can also be used as a noun if necessary. Again, it's an exception. The noun version of the word refers to a feeling, emotion and a particular emotional response.

  • Maria had a flat affect when someone mentioned her ex’s name in the conversion.
  • Drake’s affect was overwhelming when he saw his dog after a month.

In these examples, the word “affect” clearly refers to the feeling or emotion of the subject. If you have used “effect” in these instances, it wouldn’t actually have made any sense.

Affected as an adjective:

We often used the past participle form of a verb as an adjective. So, this one should not surprise you. Interestingly, the meaning of the word "affected" as an adjective is something pretentious or artificial; something that is designed to impress. Remember, it's not a compliment. Here are some examples of "affected" as an adjective.

  • The audience gave affected applause after the chief speaker delivered his dull speech at the conference.
  • If you don’t like my joke, just tell. The affected laughter is unnecessary.

There are sentences where the application of affected as an adjective makes more sense than it does as a verb. You need to understand the underlying meaning of the sentence before you use the word in any of its form (verb, noun or adjective).

In conclusion,

As you may have noticed, the meaning of the words affect and effect are different, even when they are used outside the norm. You need to remember the meaning of the terms as particular parts of speech. I know it is confusing. But there are always several ways to remember such anomalies in the English language.

The RAVEN technique can be really useful in remembering the basic use of the terms. However, you can always refer to this blog whenever you have confusion regarding the use of effect, affect or affected in a sentence. Just like you do for assignment help in the US.

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