Difference Between Affect and Effect (With Table)

Homophones are commonly confused words. These words have different meanings and spelling although, they are pronounced in a very similar way which can confuse a person. Affect and Effect, both are six lettered and apart from the first letter, the rest of the spelling of both the words are similar.

Affect vs Effect

The main difference between the words, ‘Affect’ and ‘Effect’ is that the word ‘affect’ means to act upon or change or impact. In contrast to this, the effect is the result of the change or impact that has taken place. While the effect is used as a noun, affect is more often used as a verb although, exceptions in both cases prevail.

‘Affect’ is a verb although instances of the word being used as a noun are not uncommon. Affect refers to an impact or change brought in by someone or something. It refers to the action that is being performed or undertaken. For example, the whole country was horrified by the cruelties on marine animals.

On the other hand, Effect is a noun but it may be occasionally used as a verb. Effect signifies the consequence of the action being undertaken or the change brought in. It is the result achieved that is achieved when an action takes place.

Comparison Table Between Affect and Effect

Parameters of ComparisonAffectEffect
DefinitionAffect means causing or stimulating an influence on someone or something.The effect is the change that is caused when something happens or is done.
MeaningIt is the activity that takes place. It is the result of the activity taking place.
UsageIt is used to produce or bring about a change in something.It is used to denote the effect felt due to the change.
Parts of speech It is generally used as a verb. It is generally used as a noun.
Occasionally Used as It is occasionally used as a noun.It is occasionally used as a verb.

What is Affect?

Affect is usually used as a verb although there are exceptions regarding its use as a noun. According to the Oxford dictionary, Affect as a verb means to make somebody or something change in a particular way or to influence somebody or something. For example, unsustainable development affects the ecological environment.

As a noun, the same word also means to make someone feel in a specific way as per the major dictionaries. It includes feelings of joy, anger, rage, and sad among others. For example, his flat affect changed after hearing the results of the council polls.

Affect is the cause that stimulates a response. It results in the change and with the absence of affect, there can be no effect. It also means putting up with a fake appearance.

As a noun, ‘affect’ is mostly used in the field of psychology. It is used to represent certain emotional response that is observed.

A general tip to remember the use of ‘affect’ and not confuse it with ‘effect’ is that affect represents action. The action starts with ‘A’ just as ‘affect’ does.

What is Effect?

Although predominantly used as a noun, ‘effect’ is also used as a verb, albeit occasionally. According to Oxford University, an effect is a change caused by somebody or something. It can also be described as the result of the action undertaken. For example, the effect of the ointment will be best felt after half an hour.

As a verb, effect means to accomplish or lead to come into being. In this case, the word is usually surrounded by nouns. For example, after President gives his assent to the bill, it comes into effect.

The effect is the result of the change brought by the cause. In other words, the effect is the outcome of the ‘effect’. It succeeds affect. However, effect as an verb is used in cases of implementation or bringing about something in use.

There is a good tip to remember the usage of ‘effect’. The effect is driven by some cause and the cause ends in ‘E’. At the same time, ‘Effect’ starts in ‘E’. Keeping this in mind, it would not be much difficulty in differentiating between the two words.

Main Differences Between Affect and Effect

  1. The definition of the words is the most important basis for differentiation. Affect is defined as acting upon or influencing or causing to somebody or something in a particular way while effect reflects the change that occurs when something is done or influenced.
  2. The most simplified meaning of the ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ is that affect is the activity against which there is a result labeled as to its succeeding effect. Thus, it can be stated that the affect gives rise to the effect.
  3. An important point of differentiation between the two is their usage pattern. Affect is used to denote the change or action in somebody or something. On the other hand, the effect symbolizes the consequence of such a change or impact. Affect shows the change while effect shows the result due to change.
  4. Another important point of distinction between the two is their parts of see h. While affect is used as a verb, the effect is used as a noun.
  5. Although affect is a verb, it is sometimes used as a noun depending on the case. Similarly, the effect is a noun, but in certain cases, it is used as a verb.


Affect and Effect are one of the most common pairs of homophobes. Affect refers to acting upon or giving rise to a change in someone or something. It is generally used as a verb but in cases of emotional description, the word is treated as a noun.

The effect is the result of the change or the action taken. When something is undertaken, its result is its effect. It is usually used as a noun but its use as a verb is not uncommon.


  1. https://academic.oup.com/bjc/article-abstract/24/1/27/374699
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/01050398209076203