Accept the Effect

By Catherine Osborn

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These words give writers trouble since the two can be both a noun and a verb, although affect is typically verb and effect, noun. Normally, you will use affect to denote influence. For example:

If I play music will it affect your studying?

Affect used as a noun means “emotion.”

On the other hand, effect, which is more commonly used as a noun, relates to the consequence or result.

The effects of the drug have long since worn off.

As a verb, it means to cause or to accomplish:

The tornado effected a change in our plan.


Another couple of closely related words which mean different things are accept and except. Accept will refer to receiving or approval of something.

I accept your apology.

Except refers to an exclusion, as in, not including.

I took all those classes except math.

Because they sound so similar, these words often become interchanged when we write but meaning two different things, they can really botch a sentence’s meaning!

Keep learning! Browse the Misused Words category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:

4 Responses to “Accept the Effect”

  • Jay Wagers

    Good post. Here are two more that I notice all the time: sell and sale.

  • 60 in 3

    Gah! I’m still not sure when to use affect vs. effect. They seem to be identical!


  • Daniel

    Affect as a verb is “to influence,” while effect is “to cause” or “to accomplish.”

    Just try to fill in their meaning on the sentence. For instance:

    “The tornado effected/affected a change in our plan.”

    If you consider the meaning of affect, the sentence would read:

    “The tornado influenced a change in our plan.”

    That does not make much sense, so the word you are looking for here is effect

    “The tornado caused a change in our plan.”

  • 60 in 3

    But look at the two example sentences you used, they’re not really that different.


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