Effect vs Affect What is the difference and use

Effect vs Affect

I am going to go on and assume you want the difference in definition Effect vs Affect

. Well let us take a word at a time.

Note: affect is a verb while effect is a noun.

Effect: From my point of view effect is something that describes a property/object of conversation which is the outcome of another property/object.

For example: we say “The effect of an electric field on an electron is so and so”.

or we use the term “heat effected zone” which is defined as the area which has been influenced due to heat.

So effect is basically the the result of some underlying cause.

Affect: It is usually used to describe the impact of something that has happened or something that may happen.

For example: Low iodine has affected the health of the people in this area.

Now to I know the head is reeling and in a way everything feels like one and the same, but to understand the difference let us try to use these interchangeably and see how the dialogue changes.

For Example:

  1. Using effect: The effect of an electric field causes the electron to move in the direction opposite to that of the field.
  2. Using affect: An electric field affects the electron in a way that it causes it to move opposite to the direction it’s own.

I hope this makes you understand how and where to use which word. Definition wise they seem more of less the same but when it comes to a language point of view, the context is important and depending on the context you use the respective word.

Effect vs Affect BSL English on Phone

As per Oxford dictionary,
Effect (noun) – Consequence of an action.
Usage: The failure had a miserable effect on his life.

Affect (verb) – To have an effect on.
Usage: The failure affected his life.
Effect is also used as a verb.
Effect (verb) – To cause something to happen, to bring about.
Usage: The failure effected misery in his life.

Here is a nice visual by Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar for the same.

The difference between “affect” and “effect” and how to use each correctly begins with the former being a verb in most, though not all, instances and the latter being a noun in most, though not all, instances.

Because learning to use “affect” and “effect” correctly can be confusing and frustrating initially, what follows provides everything you will ever need to know about how to use both terms, along with an explanation of the slight variation in pronunciation when used a certain way.

Affect – verb — to influence, have an effect on, as in: “Hot weather affects unrefrigerated food by causing it to spoil.” To avoid confusing it with effect, remember that the “a” in affect stands for “action,” the purpose of verbs. Pronounce the “a” as in “adorable” and place the emphasis on the second syllable.

Affect – verb — to pretend or assume (a characteristic) artificially, as in “Her choice was to have all the actors affect Russian accents.” Pronounce as above. Term not used very often in this manner.

Affect – noun — one’s visible emotional demeanor, as in: “Though charged with murder, his affect lacked the fear and/or emotion such a situation triggers.” Pronounce the “a” as in adverb with emphasis on the first syllable.

  • “Though the man being interviewed was answering tough questions about traumatic events he’d experienced as a child, his affect was so inconsistent with that topic that it was if he were discussing the pleasure he finds in cooking.”
  • An interesting example of “affect” is illustrated by the demeanor and facial expression of Burke Ramsey, brother of murder victim JonBenet Ramsey, while he’s being interviewed by Dr. Phil McGraw for the “Dr. Phil” television show. Whether responding to questions about his father finding her body or the trauma of the police “interrogation” at age 9 or being hounded by the media, his unchanging “affect” is inconsistent with, and inappropriate for, the topics discussed in that a strange smile remains on his face as he answers questions about a traumatic and painful event in a rather flat, detached manner. Neither the viewers nor Dr. Phil know what he is feeling inside at that moment, if anything; we only see his “affect.”

Effect – noun — the result or consequence of some event or action, as in: “When the post-1966 education reforms failed, the devastating effect of all that failure was to leave us with a K-12 system that has remained inadequate for the last 50 years.”  Pronounce the “e” as in “every” and place the emphasis on the second syllable. To avoid confusing effect with affect, remember the ‘e’ is for any noun beginning with ‘e,’ such as eel or everyone.

Effect – verb — to bring about, as in: “The director appreciated the staff’s effort to effect change within their work environment.” Pronounce the “e” as in eel and place the emphasis on the second syllable.

  • Thus, to affect something is to act upon it or influence it in a manner that will effect certain changes which are significant enough to have a lasting effect on the thing affected.
  • The counselor’s intention was to positively affect the client’s tendency to hide behind his laughter so as to effect significant change in his affect. Then, when he leaves, he will feel the positive effects produced by being open and forthcoming, even though his affect continued to contradict the trauma he’d experienced.

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