What is the Difference Between Affect and Effect?

Knowing the Difference Between Affect and Effect Can be the Difference Between Looking Good and Looking Bad. Don’t Risk Your Credibility! Here’s Why…

Presenting to an audience, writing a report, or sending an email, there are two schools of thought when it comes to spelling and grammar. The first says that it doesn’t matter because people will forgive your minor errors. The other school of thought says that with technology like spellcheck you should not make silly spelling and grammar mistakes. Our belief is – Don’t risk it.

Your Most Popular Questions Answered on the Difference Between Affect and Effect

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B. Affect Substitution Method – Swap Affect for Another Verb
The other way to understand how to choose the correct word of either affect or effect is to substitute affect for another verb. For example:
In this sentence, ‘The cloud affects the tree by striking it with lightning. The tree is effected by the lightning because it has been reduced to ash”, you could substitute the word to test if you have chosen the correct word. For example:
  • Original: The cloud affects the tree.
  • Substitute: The cloud tickled the tree – Yes, this works because you have successfully substituted ‘affects’ for ‘tickled’, as they are both verbs. Both doing words.
  • Substitute: ‘The people felt the affect of the great storm’ – If we change ‘affect’ for another verb, we get – ‘The people felt the jumping of the great storm’. This does not work and so the word we should use in this sentence is ‘effect’ – The people felt the effect of the great storm’.
In this example above the cold can either affect or effect. Remember the above:
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