Difference between Affect and Effect

From diff.wiki

The English vocabulary is filled with so many words that most often, the ones that are similar in form or usage are often confused. In this article, we will differentiate affect and effect.

“Affect” is generally used as a verb. It means “to have an impact on or influence something”. On the other hand, “effect” is typically used as a noun. The definition of the word “effect” is “the result or influence of an action”.

However, the word “effect” can also be used as a verb. This verb usage is what usually makes it so commonly confused with the word affect. “Effect” as a verb means “to bring something about as a result” or “to produce or to cause to come into being”.

The easiest shortcut to distinguish them is that “affect” is the action, while “effect” is the result of an action.Here are some examples:


Her poor performance affected the evaluation of the team.


The extinction of the species is the effect of poaching and illegal activities that led to the destruction of their habitat.

However, exceptions apply when “effect” is used as a verb. Here, it is useful to note that “effect” as a verb is usually attributed to terms like “change” or “solution”. There are cases when “affect” and “effect” can both apply to a sentence, but the impact that the word creates is different.

For example, there is a demonstration about a certain policy. People want to bring about a change in the policy. When you say they “affect the change” in the policy, you might imagine that their demonstration led the policy makers to make a consideration or review of the policies. But when you say they “effect the change”, it feels like their demonstration led to a more concrete change in the policy itself. So while there are similarities in the implications of the words, the context is somehow altered.

Affect Effect
Definition To have an impact on or influence something. To bring something about as a result; to produce or to cause to come into being.
Classification/Usage Verb Noun, verb
Example The CEO does not want the recent scandal to affect his reputation. His success is the effect of all his hard work and determination.

Venn Diagram[edit]