‘Affect’ and ‘effect’

Here are some important rules that may affect the effects within your writing. Enjoy.

Hannah McCall

EffectAffect and effect are often used incorrectly, particularly in student essays. In most contexts, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. When you affect something, it produces an effect – and I think that is where some of the confusion stems from.


Affect as a verb means ‘to influence or change’ or ‘to make a difference to’, and it is the most common use of affect.

The new rules will affect thousands of people.

It can sometimes mean ‘to pretend’ or ‘to take on or adopt something pretentiously’.

I affected a happy disposition.
He was known to affect an American accent.

It has limited usage (usually related to psychology) as noun referring to an emotion or feeling.

His reaction displayed a happy affect.


Effect as a verb means ‘to do’ or ‘to bring about’.

I will effect change.

But the most common usage of effect

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