Effect or affect: do you know the difference?

Simple tips to remember the difference between EFFECT and AFFECT

EFFECT and AFFECT are easy to confuse and often spelled wrong.

The fact that the two words sound the same – they’re homophones – means people commonly mix them up.

Here are my simple tips to remember the difference between EFFECT and AFFECT.

AFFECT is a verb that means alter or influence. Think A for alter.

“The rain AFFECTS my hair.”

EFFECT is most commonly a noun meaning the result of something. Think E for end result.

“The EFFECT of the rain is wet hair.”

Advanced lesson

That cheeky little ‘most commonly’ above? EFFECT can also, rarely be used as a verb, to mean ‘bring something about’.

“The voting was rigged to EFFECT the victory.”

EFFECT as a verb is rarely written outside of formal English, so you’re fairly safe to assume you won’t need this spelling.

Want more writing tips?

For more language love, join my Clever Copy Club and get monthly updates direct to your inbox. Alternatively, email me, follow me on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn or like my page on Facebook.

Confusables affect vs effect. Language and spelling tips from copywriter Sarah Townsend Editorial

Confusables: EFFECT vs AFFECT. Language and spelling tips from copywriter Sarah Townsend Editorial