Affect vs Effect

Monday, July 23, 2018
by Magdalena Bentia

6 letters, 2 consonants, and a whole lot of confusion. When the moment to use affect/effect comes, it is often followed by uncertainty and confusion. NO MORE I SAY. Here are some easy tips on how to quickly and painlessly decide which of these words to use.

The difference between affect and effect 

First, let’s take a look at the fundamental difference between the two words.

Most of the time, affect is a verb and effect is a noun. This is key to determining which word to use. RAVEN is a quick acronym that can help you remember this trick. It stands for Remember Affect Verb Effect Noun. The meaning of affect is “to influence” while the meaning of effect is “a result.”

Affect as a verb:

Not eating vegetables began to affect my health

Effect as a noun:

The effect of not eating vegetables was that I was missing important vitamins.

See, using affect/effect is not so bad! It doesn't have to be like this:

tweet about affect vs effect

Source: Hello Bar


Of course, there are exceptions when it comes to effect which can sometimes be used as a verb as well. As a verb, effect means “to bring about” or “to accomplish”.

Effect as a verb:

The prime minister hoped to effect changes to the country

To further complicate things, affect can also be used as a noun. Although this is rare in everyday use and is typically used by psychologists to describe the mood someone looks like they are in even when we do not know how they feel for sure.

Affect as a noun:

The puppy displayed a happy affect.

Using the RAVEN trick will come in handy 99% of the time. In case you do come across any of the exceptions, consider the examples above for some clarity. I am sure you will make the right decision from now on!