Confused Words: Affect or Effect by Software for Writers


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Confusing affect and effect is a common mistake. Software for Writers explains what you need to know.

Affect is a verb meaning to influence, change or pretend. 

  • The chemicals will affect (verb meaning to change) your breathing.
  • Eating before the match affected (verb meaning to influence) Karl’s performance.
  • He affected (pretended to feel) indifference to her crying.

Effect is a noun meaning the result

  • The effect (noun) of the chemicals was a loss of breath (the result of the change was breath loss).

Confused Words Affect or Effect by Software for Writers
This advice will serve you well most of the time.  But just to complicate things, effect can also be a verb, although far less common than the noun form and only found in more formal English.

Effect as a verb meaning to cause or to accomplish.

  • The manager’s new measures effected (verb meaning caused) many innovative policy improvements.

How StyleWriter Helps

StyleWriter flags any use of affect or effect in your text so you can check you are always using the correct word.

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