Effect vs. Affect

Effect vs. Affect
Effect and affect are homophones, words that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning. Let's take a look at their differences.


1. A result
2. The power to cause influence
3. The state of being functional
4. A desired impression;(verb):
5. To bring about or make happen

1. Aneffect(noun) is a result. Here is an example: "Staying out in the cold had the effect of turning the children's hands purple. Explanation:Purple hands are the result (effect) of cold weather.

2. An effect(noun) is an act that influences. Here is an example: "The child's whining had no effect on its mother." Explanation:The child's whining could not influence or budge the parent to change her mind.

3. An effect (noun) can mean the state of begin functional.Here is an example: "The school put a new rule in effect-no cell phone use during school hours." Explanation: No cell phone use is an active school rule.

4. An effect (noun)is a desired impression. Here is an example: "The principal's black suit and glasses were for effect only." Explanation:The principal's appearance gives the desired effect of authority. He is really a friendly man.

5. Effect (verb) means to cause or make happen. Here is an example: "The citizen's letter to the mayor effected change in the town's trash removal service." Explanation: When a person expresses his/her opinion in a meaningful way, a change is likely to occur.


1. To act on or to produce a change in
2. To impress on the feelings or emotions;(noun):
3. Feeling or Emotion

1. Affect(verb) means to act on or cause change. Here is an example: "The sudden change to cold weather affected the quality of the vegetable garden." Explanation: Unexpected cold weather made it difficult for new seeds to grow well. Cold weather affected the quality of the vegetables.

2. Affect (verb) means to impress upon a person's emotions. Here is an example: "The opera affected audience members deeply." Explanation: The artistic singing caused audience members to feel touched emotionally.

3. An affect(noun) is a feeling or emotion. Here is an example: "An apathetic person has an even or unchanged affect." Explanation: A person without much feeling or emotion is often called apathetic.

Let's use both effect and affect together in a sentence to illustrate their different meanings:

An effect of optimistic thinking is the ability to effect positive affect in others. Explanation: A result of optimistic thinking is the ability to cause positive emotion in others.

Fill in the Blanks:

1. Will my vacation ______ the progress of my work?
a)effect   b)affect

2. An ______ of being late is a detention.
a) affect   b) effect

answers: b, b

Related Links:
Difference between Words
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Confusing Words: Accept/Except, Affect/Effect Quiz
Affected vs. Effected Quiz