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Commonly Confused Words 🤔 Affect & Effect❗

3 years ago
We're back with more commonly confused words! Affect and effect are probably two of the most consistently misused words in the English language; but understandably so! They are extremely similar and teeth-gnashingly difficult even for a highly competent native English speaker. Let's jump in and discuss how we can use them properly! First up - affect! Affect is technically a noun and a verb, but is traditionally seen as a verb that means, “to influence/change/alter.”
  1. This loss will affect our reputation.
  2. The disagreement negatively affected their friendship.
  3. Is your new interest in yoga positively affecting you yet?
The official AP Stylebook recommends affect to be only be used as a verb - its use as a noun is VERY rare, so don't even worry about it!
Next up - effect! Effect is also both a noun and a verb, but is traditionally used as a noun to mean "outcome/result/end-state."
  1. The effect of the election on local politics was incredible.
  2. The medicine's effect was immediate.
  3. The special effects distracted from the rest of the movie.
Effect can also be used as a special, slightly rare verb to mean “to make happen/catalyze/produce/cause.”
  1. I effected many changes during my time in leadership at the organization. (effect meaning - caused)
  2. Tax cut advocates in the United States hope to effect economic growth. (effect meaning - catalyze/cause)
So how do you remember which one to use? Easy - determine your usage! If you want a noun, use effect. If you want a verb, use affect. Tell me in the comments what commonly confused words you'd like to see next!