Knowing whether to use effect or affect may not qualify you as a genius, but you will be demonstrating an understanding about a grammar issue most people find perplexing. I trust that the strategies offered here will clear up any confusion you have had.
Rule: Use the verb effect when you mean bring about or brought about, cause or caused.
Example: He effected a commotion in the crowd.
Meaning: He caused a commotion in the crowd.
Example: She effected a change in procedure.
Meaning: She brought about a change in procedure.
Rule: Use the noun effect when you mean result.
Example: What effect did that speech have?
Rule: Use the verb affect when you mean to influence rather than to cause.
Example: How do the budget cuts affect your staffing?
Rule: Affect is also used as a noun to mean emotional expression.
Example: She showed little affect when told she had won the lottery.
Posted on Wednesday, January 10, 2007, at 3:57 pm4 Comments on Effect vs. Affect