Grammar 101: Affect vs. Effect

by IELTS Australia — July 27th, 2017

Affect vs. effect: Two words that can cause some confusion and it’s well worth to spend a few minutes to know the difference between the two.

Because “affect” and “effect” are homophones (words that sound alike), they are often confused. Some tips on telling them apart.

Click each topic to learn more about the differences between its and it’s.

Affect vs. effect: the difference
Affect

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

Effect

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

Affect vs. effect: the definitions
Affect

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

Effect

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

Affect vs. effect: the synonyms
Belief

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

Believe

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

Affect vs. effect: in a sentence
Belief
  • 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.
Believe
  • 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