Knowing when to use affect or effect in a sentence can be a challenge. These words are examples of homonyms. Homonyms are words that are similar, but have very different meanings. Other examples of homonyms are two/to/too, accept/except, and there/their/they're.
In order to understand the correct situation in which to use the word affect or effect, the first thing one must do is have a clear understanding of what each word means. The word affect means to produce a change in something.
The word effect has a different meaning. Effect is defined as a result of something or the ability to bring about a result.
Now that we have the two definitions, how do we know which word to use? Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind:
1. If you are talking about a result, then use the word "effect."
2. It is appropriate to use the word "effect" if one of these words is used immediately before the word: into, on, take, the, any, an, or and.
3. If you want to describe something that was caused or brought about, the right word to use is effect.
4. Affect can be used as a noun to describe facial expression.
5. Affect can also be used as a verb. Use it when trying to describe influencing someone or something rather than causing it.
If you need more help or want to do some practice exercises using affect and effect, the following web pages may be of assistance:
Choosing between similar words can be challenging. When in doubt, check the meaning in your dictionary to be sure you are using the word correctly.