Difference WikiGrammarWords

Difference Between Affect and Effect

Main Difference

The main difference between Affect and Effect is that the Affect is commonly known as a verb, which means “to influence,” whereas Effect is typically used as a noun which says “as a result, consequently.”

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Affect vs. Effect

The word affect is derived from the Latin verb ‘afficere,which means “to have an influence on or to do something to…” The word effect originates from the Latin verb ‘efficere’ which means “to make or to carry out.” Affect is commonly known as a verb. The effect is typically used as a noun. The verb affect means “to influence,” whereas the noun effect says “as a result, consequently.” The pronunciation of affect is [uh-fekt] with A-sound at the beginning. The effect is pronounced as [ih-fekt] with I-sound at the beginning.

Affect can also mean “to act in a way which you don’t really feel,” e.g., ‘John has affected an air of superiority.’ Effect conveys the meaning of “an outcome or result of something,” e.g., the effect of the medicine was positive. The different words with having the word ‘affect’ as the root are affection, affectation, disaffected, and unaffected. Effect acts as a root word in the following words aftereffect, effectual, and effective. The word affect acts more commonly as a verb and less often as a noun. The word effect works as a noun, but sometimes it also acts as a verb in formal situations.

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Comparison Chart

AffectEffect
The verb affect means “to influence,”The noun effect means “as a result, consequently.”
Parts of Speech
Mostly a verb, sometimes a nounChiefly a noun, sometimes a verb
Pronunciation
[uh-fekt][ih-fekt]
Origin
From the Latin verb ‘afficere,’ which means “to have an influence on or to do something to…”From the Latin verb ‘efficere,’ which means “to make or to carry out.”
Word Derivatives
Affection, affectation, disaffected, and unaffectedAftereffect, effectual, and effective

What is Affect?

Affect is a verb or an action word. It means “to act on or to produce a change.” For example, “the cold weather affected the crops.” Another meaning of the verb affect is “to influence the mind or change the feelings,” e.g., “The slow melody affected his mood.” It is also used as a noun in a situation when referring to someone’s facial expressions, e.g., ‘The lady’s expressions had a neutral affect.’ Affect is rarely used as a noun in a psychological context to describe an emotion, e.g., “A gloomy affect can be a symptom of depression.”

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There are some other words that are created by using the word affect as the root. Such as the word affection, which is a noun that means “kind of warm emotion,” e.g., “My mother has great affection for her grandchildren.” Another such word is disaffected, which is an adjective that means “discontented or rebellious.” The third root word with the word affect is “unaffected” (adjective), which conveys the meaning “not bothered or influenced,” e.g., the people seem unaffected by the traffic rules. The word affectionate, which means ‘kind or loving’ is also having the same root word affect.

Examples

  • The weather conditions are going to affect the residents of this area.
  • I am confused about why did the man take the news of her wife’s accident with little affect.
  • Corruption by a single employee can affect the credibility of all the workers.
  • Your suggestions will not affect my decision to become a photographer.
  • Smoking tobacco severely affects the lungs and the blood flow.

What is the Effect?

The effect is commonly used as a noun that means “as a result, consequently,” e.g. ‘Her sunburn was an effect of frequent sunbathing.’ The use of this word effect is also seen as a verb, but that use is less common, e.g., “She effected her test score by studying hard.” The noun effect is also used in the context of filming, pictures, and videos. It refers to “the light variations, sound, or scenery.” That are used in that film, video, or photo. It derives from a Latin word ‘efficere,‘ which means “to make or to carry out.” The phrase with the word effect is ‘effect change.’

Some of the words with having affect as a root word are given. They are aftereffect (noun) that means “something that follows a cause,” e.g. ‘The aftereffects of the flood were very severe.” Effective (adjective) means “successful,” e.g., “The spray was very effective to kill the insects.” The word effectual (adjective) means “able to give the desired effect.” The word efficiency (noun) and efficient (adjective) are related to the word effect, but they are not based on the root effect. However, they have similar etymology and meaning. Efficacy and efficacious are also related words with efficient.

Examples

  • This medicine has the side effect of blurred vision.
  • The lousy company is always having an adverse effect.
  • A sound and average of eight-hour sleep have a good effect on your day.
  • The media has a significant effect on public mindsets and opinions.
  • The movie was created by special effects.

Key Differences

  1. The word affect acts more commonly as a verb and less often as a noun, whereas the word effect works as a noun, but sometimes it also acts as a verb.
  2. The verb affect means “to influence” in contrast, the noun effect says “as a result, consequently.”
  3. The word affect is derived from the Latin verb ‘afficere,’ which means “to have an influence on or to do something to…” whereas the word effect originates from the Latin verb ‘efficere,’ which means “to make or to carry out.”
  4. The pronunciation of affect is [uh-fekt] with A-sound at the beginning. The effect is pronounced as [ih-fekt] with I-sound at the beginning.
  5. The different words with having the word ‘affectas the root are affection, affectation, disaffected, and unaffected, while effect acts as a root word in the following words aftereffect, effectual, and effective.

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Conclusion

Affect and Effect are the two different words that are having a similar meaning. Both terms are also idioms of each other. The difference is mainly based on their usage in different contexts.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson