Affect

The word affect gets confusing when you read that dictionaries sometimes define it as “having an effect on someone.” Too much confusion! Have a look at the examples below to wrap your mind around the meaning and uses of “affect.”

Verb

Rules

  • When used as a verb, affect means, “to influence”.
  • It can also mean, “to act in a way you don’t necessarily feel”.

Examples

  • “The dirty seats affected John’s new pants.”
  • “Patty affected a cold attitude when she ran into her ex-boyfriend.”

Noun

Rules

  • Affect is only used as a noun when referring to scientific jargon used by psychologists. Scientists and psychologists can also use affect as an adjective.
  • As a noun, affect means, “an emotion”.
  • As an adjective, affective means, “related to moods, feelings or emotions”.

Examples

  • “Since his mother died, Jessie has displayed a depressed affect.”
  • “Carmen is studying affective behaviors in traumatized animals.”
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