Knowing when to use affect and effect can be difficult; even for native English speakers. The following should help you better understand the difference and how to use them.

Affect is usually used as a verb. A ways to remember it is Affect = Action (They both start with ‘A’.) Example sentences with ‘affect’:

1. Meaning: To have an influence on or cause a change in something.
• The Midwest has been severely affected by flooding this spring.
• My family’s opinion did not affect my decision to move to Brazil.
• The fire in the apartment building affected over 20 families.
• How will the new president affect the economy?
• Some experts think that video games affect children’s brains negatively.

2. Meaning: To move or touch; act or arouse your emotions
• His speech affected my outlook on life.
• John’s laziness affected everyone at work.
• We were deeply affected by our son’s death.
• I was negatively affected by the accident.
• My husband cheating on me has affected how much I love him.

The word “affect” is rarely used as a noun. ‘Affect’ is used as a noun in the field of psychology in connection with emotional states.

Effect is almost always used as a noun. Example Sentences with ‘effect’:

1. Meaning: Result or outcome of something
• The new seat-belt law will go into effect on May 1st.
• I don’t think failing this test will have any effect on my ability to pass my English class.
• The pain medicine had an intimidate effect on my body.
• The effect of the tornado was awful.
• The anti-drug presentation had no effect on the teenager’s bad habits.

2. Meaning: Give the impression/sense of something else
• The special effects in the movie were incredible.
• The white paint will give the effect that the room is very large.
• The scary music gives the effect that the house is haunted.
• Keeping the space well lit will give the effect that there is a lot of natural light coming in.

3. Meaning: personal belongings or possessions
• I inherited my grandfather’s personal effects after his death.
• Her personal effects are in the car.
• Did Alexander bring any personal effects?

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