Word Confusion, part 3

This is a tricky pair because it looks and sounds a lot alike but mean totally different things: affect and  effect.  Affect is usually used as a verb,  effect as a noun.

Nutrition affects your health. Healthy food has a good effect on you. pic: © Nicholas Sutcliffe | Dreamstime.com

Affect as a verb means to have an influence on, or act on as in these examples “the noise from the nearby freeway affected my ability to sleep” or “The massive negative ad campaign did not affect my vote in this election”.  I can also be used to express an impression on the mind and the feelings “the music affected him deeply.”

Effect as a noun means a result or the power to produce a result: “The sound of the falling rain had a calming effect, it nearly put me to sleep.” Effect can also be used as a verb but that usage is fairly uncommon; as a verb effect means to execute, produce or accomplish something, for example “we are working to effect change” or “The speaker’s somber tone effected a dampening in the general mood of the audience.”


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