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When do you use effect or affect (or in past tense, affected or effected)? Affect v effect easily get confused. Affect is usually a verb, and it means to impact or change. Effect, on the other hand, is usually a noun that you would use to indicate the result of a change. Because “affect” and “effect” are homophones (words that sound alike), they are often confused. We’ll share some easy tips on telling them apart. 

Affect vs. effect: the difference


Is a verb: A word or phrase that describes an action, condition, or experience. 


Is a noun: A word that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance, or quality. 

Affect vs. effect: the definitions


Make a difference to; bring about change; touch the feelings of; move emotionally. 


A change which is a result or a consequence of an action or other cause. 

Affect vs. effect: the synonyms


The synonyms for this word include: Influence, have an effect on, sway, modify, alter, touch, stir. 


Could also mean (synonyms): Result, consequence, outcome, reaction, ramifications.

Affect vs. effect: in a sentence


  • How do cigarettes affect my brain? 

  • Age-related changes in organs, tissues and other parts of your body can affect how you respond or react to medicines. 

  • Throughout the performance, a number of audience members were visibly affected, brought to tears by the reality of the tale. 


  • Global warming is projected to have a number of effects on the ocean. 

  • He resigned with immediate effect. 

  • A good diet had a positive effect on their health. 

  • What are the effects of smoking on the lungs? 

Reference: Cambridge Dictionary