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Affect Vs Effect: Know The Correct Time To Use Affect Vs Effect

by Shahnawaz Alam

Not all of us are native English Speakers. But, knowing English is necessary no matter which language we speak or talk in. It is the only medium to communicate globally. Yet, we often struggle to differentiate between similar-sounding words that have a different meanings. The present article should help you differentiate between effect vs effect

Both words have different meanings and should be used in different circumstances and sentences. Both “affect” and “effect” have different, although they sound identical when pronounced. So, here is a detailed guide to help you differentiate between the two. 

Affect Vs Effect: Let’s Spot The Difference

Whether you are writing or thinking of saying something in the head, it is normal to wonder if it affects you or effect. But the first step towards differentiating them is knowing what they are. Affect” is a verb expressing an action, while “effect” is a noun expressing the result of an action.

The first key difference we can spot is the parts of speech. The next difference between “affect vs effect” is in the meaning. Both of these words have related meanings but are slightly different.

Let's Spot The Difference

For example, let’s say that Julie uses sprays or pesticides on her indoor plants, which kills the plants. In this case, spraying the pesticides is what “affected” the plant’s death, and the plant’s death is the “effect” of the pesticides being sprayed on.

One can use the word “Affect” when they are performing an action. Because of the action performed, the result happens. The result is what one can call an “effect.” Both of the words are connected, but they have different meanings, as explained here.

However, the “affect vs effect” confusion starts because of the pronunciation. When people utter both words, they make them sound like homophones (meaning – similar-sounding words). One might have trouble using these two words when they are writing or speaking these words.

If you are still struggling with the “affect vs effect” difference, then here are explanations to help you differentiate between them.

Read more: “Truely or Truly” – What is The Difference Between Truely and Truly?

What Does Affect Mean & When To Use It?

What Does Affect Mean & When To Use It?

The meaning of the word “affect” is – “to change, to cause, to bring a difference to something or someone. The word is a verb and usually means to change someone or something. However, there is exceptional meaning to the word as well.

Here are some examples of the word regarding how to use it–

  • The road accident affected local transportation. 
  • Excessive use of chemical products will affect hair loss.
  • Your personal difference with him should not affect your professional relationship. 
  • The music affected me cry.
  • The poison affected the death of the fish in the river.


As for the exceptional meaning, the word “Affect” also means “faking something or putting on a false appearance.” You can see the following example –

  • He affected an American Accent.

Affect, although a verb, can be used as a noun. But the use of this word as a noun is very minimal. The use has been visible in psychology alone. 

  • Her affect did not change after the battle.

Read more: Which One Is Correct: I Seen It or I Saw it? Seen vs Saw Examples

What Does Effect Mean & When To Use It?

What Does Effect Mean & When To Use It?

As you have read before, effect means the result of a cause or an action. Also, the word “effect” is a noun. The word means a specific state, feeling, or situation created by an event. The word effect also has some exceptional meanings as well. Here are some examples of the word –

  • The sedatives had no effects on the patient. 
  • I spent every ounce of my spirit encouraging them. But it had no effects on them. 
  • This rule goes into effect from the first of November.
  • It was an effect of the virus entering the alien’s system. 
  • It is the butterfly effect.


As I said, there are some exceptions as well. It will be easier to differentiate Affect vs effect once you know all the possible meanings of the word. Here are some exceptional meanings that you should know –

  • Cost cutting effected growth within the business.

In this case, the word effect means to cause or to help accomplish something. But the exceptions should not be your major concern right now. The first and foremost thing to do is to stick with the basic use of the meaning of the words. Then you should be able to understand the difference between “affect vs effect .”

Final Words

It should be easy to differentiate between affect vs effect once you go through the passages above. If you are wondering whether to use affect or effect for a specific sentence, going through some examples can really help. You can take a look at the examples provided here. Hope you will not struggle to differentiate between these similar-sounding words after reading the article.

I think you have found the answer to your query. However, if you need any further explanation, you can leave your questions in the comment below.

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