“Affect” is usually a verb, to influence or cause a change in something or someone. As a verb, affect is an action (both words start with “a”).
Effect (verb, but usually a noun)
As a verb, “effect” means to bring about, to accomplish. The difference is subtle but important.
The noun, “effect” refers to the result of some action.
- Lack of sleep affects a person’s ability to concentrate.
- (“affects” = makes a difference)
- The effect of not sleeping is an inability to concentrate.
- (“effect” = result, consequence)
- The drought affected all the crops in the area.
- (Dry conditions kept the crops from growing as normal.)
- The farmers all felt the effect of the drought. Some did not even try to harvest their crop.
- (The effect or result of the dry conditions was a crop disaster.)
- The bad harvest affected the storekeepers in the town.
- (With no harvest, the farmers spent little money, causing a decrease in business.)
- The good rains that fell the next year effected a change in everyone’s attitude.
- (“effected” as a verb = brought about or accomplished a change)