Difference between Affect and effect | Affect vs. Effect

Difference between Affect and effect | Affect vs. Effect

The two words affect and effect are very confusing when it comes to use them in a sentence. Sometimes, even native users become confused when making a choice for a correct word. In this article, we will discuss difference between affect and effect with their usage in multiple sentence so that you become familiar with both these confusing pair of words.

We will take start from the etymology of both words: affect and effect

Etymology of affect

Affect came from the Latin word affectus that is a past participle of afficere. Affectus means a state caused by any external factor. Afficere means to do something or act on. If we go back toward 14th century, it also has a link to German word Affekt.

Etymology of effect                  

Now, we will trace the origin of word effect. It also takes its origin from a Latin word effectus (past participle of efficere) which means a result, ending, or completion.

More recently, the word effect looks similar to many words in other languages e.g. efecto in Spanish, effet in German, effect in French, and efeito in Portuguese. 


Phonetic transcription and syllabification

  • Affect: əˈfɛkt (syllabification: af·fect)
  • Effect: əˈfɛkt (syllabification: ef·fect)

Are affect and effect homophones?

Both words, affect and effect, have equal letters but the initial letter is different to both words that makes a difference in their pronunciation. These words are not homophones but we call them near-homophones especially for non-natives.

Both words, affect and effect have two syllables af-fect and ef-fect, respectively. First syllable of both words is different but the second syllable is the same in pronunciation. The first syllable of affect is af- and the first syllable of effect is ef-.


Synonyms of affect: Influence, modify, sway, touch, alter, stir, have an effect on. 

Synonyms of effect: Result, outcome, reaction, consequence.


What does affect mean?

The word affect is mainly used as a verb in a sentence because it acts or performs on something, causes any change in a state, or influences something or someone. The verb ‘affect’ means, “to act on; to perform an action on something that ultimately creates an effect or change in that thing.

 “The hot sun affected the tree leaves, and they turned into pale”.

The hot sun performed an action on tree leaves and caused a change in tree leaves. The act of performance or the action that is taking place is affect.

It also can cause a change in a mind or can change the feeling of a person with some action.

“The recitation of Holy Quran affected him and he converted to Islam.”

The recitation of Holy Quran changed the feelings or thoughts of a person and resultantly he converted to Islam.


Use of affect as a noun

We use the word affect as a noun when referring to a display of emotion or feelings. Look at the example given below.

The continuous siren of train leaves an annoying affect.

In above example, the word affect is used as a noun because it is not an action.

Whenever you are talking about terms to express an action, you are certainly looking for the word affect.


How to know that you are using affect correctly?

When you are stuck and want to know that you are using the correct word; here is a trick. Just substitute affect with another verb in the sentence, you will know that you are using the correct word. Look at the examples.

· The hot weather affected the skin of a girl working in the fields.

The hot weather damaged the skin of a girl working in the fields.


What does effect mean?

The word effect is easy to use in a sentence than Affect. We use the word effect as a noun in a sentence and nouns are very simple in their use. Effect means “result” “outcome” or “consequence” caused by an action.

Does smoking has any effect on lungs?

The side effects of smoking are fatal.

The word effect, in above examples, is used as a noun that means result.

How to know that you are using effect correctly?

If you are confused for choosing the correct word, just substitute effect with another noun in the sentence, you will know that you are using the correct word. Look at the examples.

·         Her sunburn is an effect of hot weather.  

·         Her sunburn is a result of hot weather. 

In above example, we changed effect with a noun, and the sentence is still OK.

Here are some synonyms of affect: alter, change, influence, modify and impact (the verb version). That list should affect your understanding of the word. In this case, affect would mean “improve.”

Affect vs. Effect | Different Forms

The word affect (being a verb) has a several form like; affects in present tense, affected in past tense, and affecting in present participle.

On the other hand, effect is a noun and only occurs in the plain form effect. A noun has plural form so the word effect can be used as a plural like; effects.


Affect and Effect in Sentences

Hope you have understood difference between affect and effect. Now we will practice these words in different sentences.


Use of affect in sentences

  • Smoking affected her lungs severely. 
  • The dust storm affected the environment of the country.
  • Self-learning activities affect students in a positive way.
  • Love music always affects my mood.
  • A drop of poison can affect the entire pond.
  • John was affected by death of his pet dog.
  • Your illogical opinions cannot affect my decision to play football.
  • Excessive use of smartphones can negatively affect youngsters.
  • Social conflicts can affect the peace of community.
  • The farmer’s sad story affected me, and I burst out with tears.
  • Sleeplessness can adversely affect your health.
  • Hugs and kisses affect the immune system in a positive way.
  • How much a player practices will affect his or her performance in the match.


Use of effect in sentences

  • A smile on face can have a positive effect on your health. 
  • What are the side effects of sleeping pills? 
  •  The effects of excessive rain in the city were devastating.
  • You will feel the effects of dieting in few days.
  • A teacher’s polite attitude towards students can have a positive effect on the learning of students.
  • The effect of the home remedy on her skin was surprisingly fast.
  • Crash diet can have side effects on your health.
  • One of the side effects of watching too much movies is blurred vision.
  • Playing fighting games on smartphones have bad effects on teenagers.
  • Fresh juices in breakfast have a positive effect on your health.
  • The romantic movie can leave a bad effect on children.
  • Homeopathic medicines have less side effects.
  • Sleeplessness has a negative effect on your health.

Affective vs. Effective

The word affective is derived from affect that means something that can produce affects. If a drawing book is famous for the students and contains good drawing skills so we can say that the drawing book is an affective book.  

Similarly, effective is taken from effect that means successful in bringing about a desired result. In example: “Dieting is a simple and effective way to lose weight.”