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  • Writer's pictureKylie

How to Choose the Right Word: Tips for Affect and Effect

In some cases, the meaning of effect and affect are easy to distinguish. However, in others, you’ll need to decide whether to use effect or affect based on context and what word best conveys the message you want to express. If you’re ever unsure about how to choose between these two terms, keep reading for tips that will help you make the right word choice every time.

What is the Difference Between ‘Effect’ and ‘Affect’?

Effect is a noun, and it is the outcome of an event or situation that created a change.

Affect is a verb, it means to impact change.

Applying What We Learned About 'Affect' Versus 'Effect'

Affect means to influence or produce a change in something.

  • The medicine will affect your ability to drive heavy vehicles.

  • The hurricane affected citizens along the coast of Florida.

Effect means the result of change. So, if an event affects your life, you will feel the effect.

  • The effect of the hurricane was devastating.

  • You'll feel the effects of the medicine wear off in four hours.

My Favorite Way to Remember 'Effect' Versus 'Affect'

To help you remember when to use affect versus effect, we always look for ways that these words create a sense of movement. An affect is something that is felt or experienced — it's an emotional reaction. An effect is something that happens after a cause has taken place — it's a result of some sort of change. We can often understand what we're reading better when we see how affect and effect are moving us through their different paths in sentences.

Need help with word choice or proofreading? Contact me today!

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