Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Affect and Effect

The English language can be a very difficult one to navigate. There are plenty of words that sound the same, but have different meanings. Two words that people always seem to get confused are effect and affect. Today, we are here to clarify all of the confusion and to find out exactly what both of these words mean, what makes them different from each other, and how to use them properly. 

What is Affect?

Affect is generally used as a verb. It’s meaning is to make a difference or to influence something. When something is affected, something else has an impact on it. Affect is all about a specific action changing something else. 

For example, your mood can be affected by the weather, or the new building code will affect the way you decorate your home. 

What is Effect?

Effect is generally a noun, as opposed to being a verb. Effect is about a change that happens as a result of a specific cause or another action. In other words, an effect is the result or the outcome of an action. 

For example, the medicine had the effect of healing someone, or the effect of climate change is more extreme weather. 

Similarities Between Affect and Effect

There are some similarities between the words affect and effect, so let’s figure out what they are. 

  • Both of these words have to do with change or altered circumstances. However, exactly how they are related to the phenomenon of change is different. 
  • Interestingly enough, both of these words come from the Latin language. 
  • Both words can be used to change parts of speech. 

Differences Between Affect and Effect

There are of course some major differences between affect and effect as well, so let’s take a look at what these are. 

  • Affect is usually used as a verb, whereas effect is used as a noun. 
  • Affect often refers to emotional effects, whereas effect usually refers to outcomes. 
  • Affect is about the act or process of change, whereas effect is about the outcome of that change. 


Let’s now answer some frequently asked questions about the words effect and affect. 

What is affect and effect examples?

Let’s go over examples of both, just so you know exactly what makes them different. 

Effect Example: One of the biggest notable effects of me running more is that it has caused me to lose over 45 pounds. 

Affect Example: The way that cars drive on the highway significantly affects the safety levels for all motorists on the road. 

Will it affect me or effect me?

Exactly which word to use in this context depends. For instance, if something is going to influence you directly, you would use affect, as in I have been greatly affected by the diseases. However, you might say the effect of this new policy is that I will not longer be able to drive at night. Keep in mind that if the word me is at the end of the sentence, then affect is likely the correct word to use, 

How do you remember effect vs affect?

A very simple way to remember this is that effect is an end result, with both effect and end result starting with the letter E. On the other hand, affect has to do with an action with both of these words starting with the letter A. It’s an easy way to remember the difference. 

Is someone affected or effected by something?

Generally speaking, somebody is affected by something. Affected is the past tense, and this refers to an effect that somebody has suffered due to an even. Effected is generally not used in this way. 

How do you use effect in a sentence?

The effect of new health laws was a significant decline in obesity levels. 

How do you use affect in a sentence?

The death of my mother had a great affect on me. 

What are the 5 examples of cause and effect?

  • Cause: Bee Sting. Effect: Allergic Reaction.
  • Cause: Ate Ice Cream. Effect: Gained Weight.
  • Cause: Slept Eight Hours. Effect: Woke Up Refreshed
  • Cause: The Storm Was Severe. Effect: Trees were uprooted.
  • Cause: The Dog Peed on the Carpet. Effect: The Dog was reprimanded. 

What is an example of a sentence that has cause and effect?

Because the store started stocking more soda instead of juice (cause), the store began making much higher profits from soda sales (effect). 

What does it mean to have an effect on someone?

When you have an effect on someone, it means that our words or actions have brought about some kind of change in the person. It is about the impact you have on those people. 

Affect Vs  Effect


As you can see, although the two words may share some similarities, they are fundamentally different in what they mean and how they are used. 

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  1. The sentence:

    Exposure to the sunlight had the effect of on your eyes.

    to me makes no sense – so the illustration/example is lost on me. Please refine the sentence, or, make it a sentence.

    Thank you.

    • I think it was their typing mistake
      It should have been like “Exposure to the sunlight had an effect on your eyes”

  2. Excellent (again)! I do not bother researching other websites for info., I go right to http://www.differencebetween.net.

    Thank you,

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References :

[0]What is the difference between affect and effect? - Walden University. (n.d.). https://academicanswers.waldenu.edu/faq/72770

[1]Touro University. (n.d.). “Affect” or “Effect”: use the correct word every time. https://www.touro.edu/departments/writing-center/tutorials/affect-or-effect/

[2]Affect vs Effect | Writing and Communication Centre. (n.d.). https://uwaterloo.ca/writing-and-communication-centre/blog/affect-vs-effect

[3]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MADaFk2X2zA-affect-word/

[4]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MADBGrrnJu8-cause-and-effect-signpost-means-results-of-actions/

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