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Not to understand the difference between affect and effect?

(121 Posts)
Tinseltower Fri 12-Jan-18 21:46:54

I looked up the definitions and still none the wiser. Been in a school revision site and still don’t get it! What is wrong with me! If anyone can explain to me very simply and with examples I’d really appreciate it!

HopeClearwater Fri 12-Jan-18 21:48:07

When used as a verb

Affect means to change
Effect means to bring about

EggysMom Fri 12-Jan-18 21:49:07

Explanation and plenty of examples on this page:

PurpleDaisies Fri 12-Jan-18 21:49:24

IF you affect something you cause an effect

silvousplaitmerci Fri 12-Jan-18 21:49:25

Affect is a verb

Effect is a noun

It's much like practice (noun) and practise (verb) and advice and advise

Teaformeplease Fri 12-Jan-18 21:51:49

Affect is a verb or a doing word. Effect is a noun or a thing.
You can influence or affect (action = verb) something happening. The results of that are the effects (object = noun).

annandale Fri 12-Jan-18 21:52:29

I've typed several answers and I've realised that I can't define it! I always imagine an arrow and if it's coming towards me it affects me, and if it's travelling outwards from me I'm effecting an action which may affect other people. But I don't think that will help...

annandale Fri 12-Jan-18 21:53:02

Oh yes! What they said.

FrostyThirties0 Fri 12-Jan-18 21:54:39

I always think of the words ‘special effects’. They are an actual thing (noun) so it’s effect. Then if something has an affect on me it’s a verb.

Pixilicious Fri 12-Jan-18 21:55:27

I don't get it either. I try to remember it as cause and effect - cause has an A in it so that's affect. And the outcome is the effect. But I still don't really understand. Mainly I just use affect as it's usually that one.

Tinseltower Fri 12-Jan-18 21:55:31

Thanks Anna that has actually helped me a bit! Why is this so confusing! I’m ok with advise and advice but not practise and practice.

I’m dyslexic but don’t usually have too much trouble.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Fri 12-Jan-18 21:57:34

Do you understand the difference between a noun and a verb? Because that's pretty crucial to this understanding the difference. I'm not being sarcastic by the way, if you were at school in the 70s or thereabouts you wouldn't have been taught any grammar so things like this can be hard to wrap your head around.

TheSnowballFairy Fri 12-Jan-18 22:12:02

You affect something.

The effect is on something.

Eg you hug someone, you affect their mood.

The effect on them is instant.

Whisky2014 Fri 12-Jan-18 22:13:28

I was affected by the bright strobe light effect.

KERALA1 Fri 12-Jan-18 22:14:58

The other ones that people often get wrong are less/fewer (maddening) and advice/advise.

echt Fri 12-Jan-18 22:15:17

Both affect and effect can be a noun or verb.

Affect (noun): the patient's impassive face showed lack of affect This mostly used in psychiatric evaluations/descriptions.
Affect (verb): the bad weather affected flight schedules.
Effect (noun): the stormy weather had an negative effect on flight schedules.
Effect (verb): By using a knotted sheet, the prisoners effected their escape.

ArialAnna Fri 12-Jan-18 22:18:10

The way you remember is if it's a noun you can say 'the' effect. 'The' ends with e, so thats the spelling that follows. The verb version cant have 'the' in front and so starts with 'a'

Cornettoninja Fri 12-Jan-18 22:19:17

The medication had the side effect of causing dizziness which affected my capability to drive.

I find it hard to explain but generally remember 'side effects' and then try it out in my head... (waits for someone to tell me the above sentence is wrong grin),

sproutsandparsnips Fri 12-Jan-18 22:20:49

Yes, although as pp has said 'affect' can be a noun. E.g. 'Flat affect' from a psychiatric point of view.

Lillygolightly Fri 12-Jan-18 22:22:02

His mood had an affect on the whole house

When will the viagra take effect


PurpleDaisies Fri 12-Jan-18 22:22:45

His mood had an affect on the whole house

That’s not correct, it should be effect.

PurpleDaisies Fri 12-Jan-18 22:23:22

You could say “his mood affected the whole house”.

NataliaOsipova Fri 12-Jan-18 22:24:18

The other ones that people often get wrong are less/fewer (maddening)

I'm looking at you, Tesco.....grin

TestingTestingWonTooFree Fri 12-Jan-18 22:24:35



londonrach Fri 12-Jan-18 22:25:57

I suggest with these two and verb and noun doesnt mean much to me. Yanbu op

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