There are three main things to remember about the word effect in order to distinguish it from the word affect when writing in the English language. The three main points are listed below along with relevant examples.

  1. Effect is Almost Always Used as a Noun

    • When used as a noun, an effect is, "a result or an outcome". It can also mean, "a personal item".
    • Therefore, always use effect when the preceding words that are articles (such as "a, an, the, any") or "take, into and no".
    • Examples:
      • The effect of the movie was that Sally remained sad all afternoon.
      • Ryan came over to collect his deceased father's personal effects.
  2. In Rare Cases, Effect Can Be Used as a Verb

    • When used as a verb effect means, "to bring about something or to accomplish a task".
    • Examples:
      • As a nutritionist, Mary wanted to positively effect change in people's lives.
  3. The Word Effective is a Popular Adjective Form of Effect

    • The word effective means, "producing a desired outcome".
    • It can also mean, "to be striking".
    • Examples:
      • Terry's new technique was effective in teaching the new recruits the lesson.
      • Kathy's diamond was large, brilliant and effective.

About Affect & Effect

Affect vs Effect Affect vs Effect Quiz Affect vs Effect Worksheets