Words of Confusion Wednesday

Today’s confusing words are “affect” and “effect”.  I see this one interchanged a lot when I edit or beta read.  Even though they are spelled correctly in the manuscript, spellchecker may or may not pick up on the discrepancy because they are very close in  meaning but yet they’re not.  I hope to help clear up a bit of confusion.

Affect is most commonly used as a verb, and it means to cause change in some way.

Example sentences:

The cold weather affected the crops.

The music affected her dreams.

Affect can also be used as a noun, though it is not very common.  It means ‘to show little emotion’

Example sentence:  

She showed little affect when she won the award.


Effect is usually used as a noun and it means “the result or outcome of a cause; a person’s immediate personal belongings.

Example sentences:

His speech had a profound effect on me.

The girl collected her effects before leaving work.

Effect can also be used less commonly as a verb, meaning “to bring about”

Example sentence:

“His words effected a riot.”


I try to remember a sentence like the following when remembering which one to use:
The words affected the author deeply; however, they had no effect on the agent.


Okay…that’s it.  I hope I helped to clear up a little confusion.  Happy writing.  See you next Wednesday with more words of confusion.

4 thoughts on “Words of Confusion Wednesday

  1. I always get these two wrong. I try not to stew on it while I’m writing, figuring I’ll get it when I edit, but then I end up reading right over it. These are some of my word nemeses. Did I spell that right?


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