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Affected vs. Effected: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 6, 2023
"Affected" means influenced by something, while "effected" means brought about or caused something. Both pertain to change, but differ in agency and outcome.

Key Differences

The word "affected" implies being influenced by or acted upon by something else. It often refers to something being changed by external factors. In contrast, "effected" denotes the action or means of bringing about a change or result, indicating causality or implementation.
When we say something is "affected," we communicate that it has undergone a change due to external circumstances. However, when we say something is "effected," we suggest that it has been realized or brought into being due to specific actions or means.
The term "affected" is generally utilized as an adjective, describing a state or condition. On the other hand, "effected" is predominantly used as a verb, demonstrating the accomplishment or enactment of something.
“Affected” illustrates a passive state, signifying being altered or impacted by other factors. Differently, “effected” implies an active achievement, marking the realization or establishment of change, often by a distinct entity or action.
In the realm of usage, "affected" usually leads to descriptions of conditions, moods, or states that have been altered, while "effected" leans toward discussions about successful implementations, initiations, or enactments of particular changes or states.

Comparison Chart

Usage in a Sentence

The plants were adversely affected by the frost.
The new law was effected by the government.

Part of Speech

Adjective (The affected area was quite large.)
Verb (They effected a change in policy.)


Often used in past/participle (was/were affected)
Primarily used in past (effected)


Being influenced or changed
Bringing about or causing a change



Affected and Effected Definitions


Affected portrays being subjected to an influence.
The crops were severely affected by pests.


Effected implies initiating or executing a change.
They effected a revolution in technology.


Affected implies being altered by external factors.
The region was affected by the drought.


Effected means to execute, produce, or bring about something.
The company effected significant changes in management.


Affected suggests a state of being influenced or impacted.
Her health was negatively affected.


Effected means brought about or caused something.
The president effected new policies.


Affected describes a condition changed by external elements.
His demeanor affected the entire team.


Effected refers to making something happen or bringing it into being.
The strategy was successfully effected by the team.


Affected implies being modified in form or condition.
The economy was strongly affected by the pandemic.


Effected suggests the realization or accomplishment of an outcome.
The agreement was effectively effected last year.


To have an influence on or effect a change in
Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.


Something brought about by a cause or agent; a result.


To act on the emotions of; touch or move.


The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result
The government's action had little effect on the trade imbalance.


To attack or infect, as a disease
Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.


Advantage; avail
Used her words to great effect in influencing the jury.


Is "effected" a verb or adjective?

"Effected" is typically used as a verb.

Can "affected" be used to describe emotional change?

Yes, e.g., "She was deeply affected by the news."

What does "affected" mean?

"Affected" describes a state of being influenced or altered by something.

What is a synonym for "effected"?

A synonym for "effected" might be "realized" or "implemented."

Can "affected" refer to emotional states?

Yes, e.g., "She was visibly affected by the story."

What is a sentence example where "affected" and "effected" are used correctly?

"The new policies effected significant improvements in the affected region."

Does "affected" always imply a negative change?

No, "affected" is neutral and can indicate positive, negative, or neutral change.

What’s a simple way to remember the difference between "affected" and "effected"?

"Affected" usually describes a state (adjective) while "effected" often describes an action (verb) that brought about change.

Can "affected" refer to physical conditions?

Yes, e.g., "The patient’s limbs were affected by paralysis."

What does "adversely affected" mean?

It means being impacted in a negative or harmful way.

How does "effected" relate to cause and result?

"Effected" signifies the cause or agency that brings about a result or change.

Can "affected" be used as a verb?

Yes, but it’s less common, e.g., "He affected an accent."

Is "effected" common in legal or formal documents?

Yes, "effected" often appears in formal or legal contexts to denote enacted changes.

Is it possible for a person to be "effected"?

It’s unconventional and may be confusing, as "effected" usually pertains to changes or outcomes, not entities.

Does "effected" imply an active role in creating change?

Yes, "effected" suggests active achievement or realization of a change.

What's an example of "effected" in future tense?

"The government will effect new laws next year."

Are "affected" and "effected" commonly misused interchangeably?

Yes, their misuse is common due to their similar sound and related meanings.

Can “effected” be used in a passive voice?

Yes, e.g., "Change was effected in the organization."

Can “affected” describe changes in inanimate objects?

Yes, e.g., "The walls were affected by the moisture."

Does “effected” always imply successful implementation?

Generally, yes, as it typically indicates that the change was realized or came into being.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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