Difference between affect and effect
Affect vs effect :
Being two words with not only very similar meanings but also extremely similar pronunciations, ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ have been the source of utter confusion for many a English student worldwide. Not only for students of English, these two words can quite easily be mistaken by even a native speaker of the English language as the usage of these words convey very different meanings under different circumstances.
The word ‘affect’, derived from a Lain word that translates in to “to have an influence on” is generally used as a verb. ‘Affect’ can be used in two main methods. It can be used to emphasize the way in which a certain factor influences the course of action or a sequence of events or how a certain incident may have an emotional or a mental influence on a particular person. Let us observe the following sentences for example.
“The contents in that letter affected him in such a way that he burst in to tears immediately after reading it”
The above sentence refers to how the word affect has been used as an emotional influence.
“Heavy rains will affect the outdoor concert.”
Both the above sentences refer to how the word ‘affect’ has been used to describe the influence that a certain factor has on a certain event.
The word ‘affect’ is also used as a noun, but this is used in a rare and archaic sense. One often sees the use of ‘affect’ in physiology and psychiatry, often describing the state of a person’s mental state. Take the following sentence for example.
“The patient exhibited a flat affect, responding to absolutely nothing.”
‘Effect’ on the other hand is more commonly used as a noun. Usually, when a certain factor affects another, it creates an effect. The word ‘effect’ is easily described as a result or a consequence created by a certain factor.
“The heavy weather had no effect on his jovial mood”
The above example gives the sense of having an influence on a separate phenomenon.
‘Effect’ can also be used to indicate a state of fulfillment or an accomplishment.
“He put his carefully drawn plan in to effect.”
Here, the word ‘effect’ is used to convey an achievement or a fulfillment that he had gained through his plan.
The word ‘effect’ can be used as a verb as well, often in the meaning “to produce”.
“She is a great woman who effected a change in the thinking patterns of men”
Therefore, one can see how the words ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ are used in very different contexts