Choosing Between Affect and Effect
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Here are some rules and examples that will help you understand the difference between the words affect and effect. Although there are a few exceptions, you will be right more than 90% of the time if you remember to use affect as a verb as shown in these first three examples. Affect (ALWAYS A VERB) 1. To have an influence on EXAMPLE: The price of gasoline affects the economy. 2. To respond to the emotions of; touch or move. EXAMPLE: The news of his wife’s affair did not affect the husband. 3. To attack or infect, as a disease EXAMPLE: High cholesterol can affect the heart.
In contrast, effect is nearly always used as a noun. Some people help themselves remember this by thinking of the special effects in some of their favorite films. See how in these examples effect is used as a noun. Effect (NEARLY ALWAYS A NOUN) 1. Something brought about by a cause EXAMPLE: The effect of his missing class was getting assigned to Saturday detention. 2. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence
EXAMPLE: The effects of the Tylenol should be felt within twenty minutes. 3. A scientific law, hypothesis, or phenomenon EXAMPLE: The Greenhouse Effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain gases in the atmosphere trap energy from the sun.
A. In the four sentences below, fill in the blank spaces with either affect or effect. If you are using one of them as a verb you may need to change its tense. 1. The D.A.R.E. program had a great ____________ on the student population. 2. Smoking cigarettes can _________ the lungs and possibly be the cause of death. 3. My best friend was greatly __________ by his mother’s recent death. 4. Drowsiness can be a side _________ of cold medicine. B. In the four sentences below, circle the correct word to complete the sentence. 1. The senior...