Home Guide English Vocabulary How to Use Affect and Effect Properly

How to Use Affect and Effect Properly

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Affect is almost always used as a verb. Unless your topic is psychology, you will rarely need to use affect as a noun.

Typically, when people want to say that one thing has had an impact on another, they will use the verb affect.

For example:

  • It's hard to say how the price of gasoline will affect the economy in the long run.
  • Growing up with three older sisters affected me greatly as a person.
  • When someone affects you strongly, you may develop affection for them. (Notice in this example that the root of affection is affect.)

Effect is almost always used as a noun.

  • Typically, when people talk about causes, they also talk about effects. An effect is what is created by some cause. Here are some examples of effectbeing used as a noun that means "the result of a cause"
    • It's hard to say what effect the rising price of gasoline will have on the world economy.
    • One undesirable effect of not wearing shoes is getting really dirty feet.
    • The hurricane caused many tragedies, and the victims are still feeling its depressing effects.
  • However, it can also be used as a verb, meaning to bring about, as in her actions effected a change in the situation

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Tips

  • When used as a noun, affect refers to emotional expression.