What is the difference between affect and effect?
There are many confusing words in the English language that speakers and writers often use in the wrong way. Two of these words are “affect” and “effect”. Affect is a verb and it means to influence something or someone in some way. Effect is a noun and it means the result of some action. You could say that to “affect” something will produce an “effect”.
Examples of these words used in sentences also illustrate the difference in meaning and therefore difference in the way the words should be used in a sentence.
The results of the May 2 election will certainly affect Canada for the next five years.
Many people wonder what effect a majority Conservative government will have on their lives.
As with many other word usages in the English language and the rules related to them, effect is sometimes used as a verb and this is why how it is used becomes confusing. When you use it as a very it means to accomplish something –to produce a result. An example of this can be seen in this sentence:
The vote effected a great change in the political make up of the country.
At the same time, affect can also be used as a noun, though the occurrences of this are rare. This usually occurs in the medical field, especially in the field of psychiatry. This sentence illustrates the use of affect as a noun:
The patient did not respond to any stimuli and produced a fat affect.
The easiest way though to distinguish between “affect” and “effect” is to remember that affect is a verb and effect is a noun.