Effect vs. Affect



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. We 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, September 27, 2017, at 5:21 pm

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