To improve your own writing skills, you should always be open to learning new things and understanding the grammatical rules that make up our English language.
Now, the English language is not as straightforward as we native speakers may realize. In fact, it is probably one of the most confusing languages out there when it comes to grammatical rules.
A case in point is the word affect vs effect. Only one letter separates these two words but the meaning of both are vastly different. Equally, they are often misused by most of us in written discourse, simply because the rules behind them can be a bit confusing.
However, we are here to finally provide a helpful guide on how to correctly use the word affect and the word effect, providing you with the definitions of both, the rules of both and examples of both being used correctly.
Here is everything you need to know about these two often pesky words and the ultimate guide on how to use them correctly from here on out.
First, let us define both of these words. It is important to understand the definitions of both upfronts so that our tips and tricks for remembering when and how to use both make sense.
Distinguishing the difference between the two is hard. So do not put too much pressure on yourself to understand right away. It is probably one of the most common mistakes out there. Making it even more confusing is the fact that both words are pronounced very similarly.
Here is all you need to know about the two words.
How to pronounce it:
This word is pronounced as “af-fect”, ensuring that you pronounce both syllables.
The word “affect” is a noun, but can also be used as a verb too. The official definition of “affect” thus varies based on how the word is used grammatically. Here are the definitions of both.
“Affect” as a noun:
when this word is used as a noun you are using this word to describe an observation or subjective emotion, noting that it is often separated from an actual physical state. An example of “affect” is used in context as a noun would be as follows below.
“The students showed unique test results and affects, thereafter.”
The word “affect” in this instance is referring to an actual manifestation or disposition of the student’s test scores.
“Affect” as a verb:
now, when this same word is used as a verb, it is being used as a transitive verb. This means that the word is being used to describe an actual result or impact that a particular action has had. An example of this being used properly in context is as follows.
“The kids in the state were severely affected by the state’s reduction of the school budget.”
How to pronounce it:
This word is pronounced as “ef-fect”, ensuring that you pronounce both syllables, which is basically identical to the word “affect”.
The word effect can also be used as both a noun and a verb. The official definition of effect will then also have two different definitions, depending on how it is used in context.
“Effect” as a noun:
when this word is used as a noun, you will use it to describe how something was manipulated or influenced to create substantial and factual change. This is most common when describing the impacts of drugs or something that is scientific or mechanical. An example of this is as follows:
“The special effects had a significant effect on visitors who came to the haunted house.”
The word “effect” in this instance is referring to the physical result of the atmosphere that the visitors then experienced.
Another example could be as follows.
“The new rules of the company went into effect on Saturday”.
The word “effect” is describing an actual fact or change in a system, rather than an emotive response.
“Effect” as a verb: now, when this word is used as a verb, it is used to describe an actual action that has caused a tangible result. An example of this is as follows.
“The new law can effect women’s rights across the country.”
There is an easy way to remember when you should use the word “effect” versus the word “affect”. It can be done through the mnemonic device known as RAVEN. This stands for the following: Remember Affect Verb Effect Noun.
This means that the word “affect” is always referring to a cause, and the word “effect” is referring to the end result of the action.
While mastering the difference between the two words, you will need to give yourself some patience as practice makes perfect with mastering the use of these two words. Now is the best time to start.