Have you gone on long enough without fully knowing the difference between the two? Put a stop to the battle of affect vs effect in your mind and learn how to properly use each one today! 

Affect: The Definition 

Affect can be used as a noun or as two different types of transitive verbs. This may be confusing at first, but once you dive into it, you may find it is easier than it seems. 

Since the word can hold three different meanings. Its definition relies heavily on how you use it in a sentence. 


When someone is using affect as a verb, they are typically trying to express an action that has taken place on a noun. Take this sentence for example, “The mud on his face affects his ability to see”. 

The other way that affect can be used as a verb occurs much less often, but it is important to know nonetheless. It is used to create a visual or infer pretenses. Here is a simple example: “The rockstar affects an arrogant demeanor.”  


While it is not often used as a noun, when it is, it is typically used to portray emotions that are subjective or observable. Here is an example: “After the incident, the athletes displayed abnormal performance and affects.”

Antonyms for Affect

It is always helpful to learn the opposite meaning of a word when trying to add it to your vocabulary. So, here are a few antonyms for the word affect.

  • Disguise 
  • Mask
  • Stifle
  • Conceal 

Synonyms for Affect the Noun 

To help you use the word affect as a noun, here are a couple of synonyms. 

  • Disposition
  • Manifestations

Synonyms for Affect the Verb 

To help you use the word affect as a verb, here are a couple of synonyms. 

  • Involve 
  • Disturb 
  • Influence 
  • Upset 
  • Touch
  • Alter 
  • Contrive 
  • Bluff
  • Change 
  • Act
  • Interest 

Effect: The Definition 

In a similar way to affect, the word effect can be found as a transitive verb and a noun. When using effect as a transitive verb, the user should be trying to portray a result caused by an action. On the other hand, using effect as a noun should describe the result of an action. 


Using the word effect as a verb is very common in formal and informal communication. As mentioned above, using it can describe how an action can cause an end result. Here it is in a sentence. “The actions you take now can have positive effects for the future.” 


Effect can be used as a noun in two different ways. The first one, noun 1, expresses an influential outcome of an event or emotional experience. For example: “Warm sun has a happy effect on most people.” 

The second way it can be used, noun 2, is typically used to describe the idea of something. It is most commonly in these forms of the word: Effectively, to the effect, or in effect. 

Here it is in a sentence: “My wife put out the flame with a fire extinguisher, effectively saving our home.” 


  • Reason
  • Cause
  • Occasion 
  • Antecedent 

Synonyms for Effect the Verb

  • Implement 
  • Achieve 
  • Bring about 
  • Realize 
  • Enact 
  • Actualize 
  • Enforce 

Synonyms for Effect the Noun 1

  • Reaction
  • Aftermath
  • Outcome 
  • Consequence 
  • Response 
  • Fallout

Synonyms for Effect the Noun 2

  • Meaning 
  • Significance 
  • Sence 
  • Fact
  • Reality 
  • Action 
  • Influence 
  • Force

Causes for Confusion Between the Two 

Affect and effect are what are known as homonyms. This means that they sound very similar but ultimately have different meanings. So, when in conversation with people, especially those with different accents than yours, it could be hard to decipher the difference between the two words. 

While affect is supposed to be pronounced “uh-fect” and effect is supposed to be pronounced “eh-fect”, people typically end up pronouncing each word the same way. This ultimately makes it much harder for kids to naturally learn the difference. It also does not help that they typically are used in very similar ways. 

Simple Ways to Remember the Difference

Now that you have learned the difference between the two. It is time to get out there and start using them the right way and correctly pronouncing them. There is just one thing. How are you supposed to remember the difference? 

Here are a couple of ideas that might help with that.


RAVEN is a mnemonic tool that many grade school teachers will use to help teach their students the difference between the two. In fact, you might have even been taught it once upon a time. It goes like this:






The Alphabet 

Another option is taking the alphabet and using it as a reminder. It works like this: 

In the alphabet, A comes before E. This will help you remember that the affect (cause) of something happens before an effect (result) happens. 

The Takeaway

Understanding the difference between affect and effect seems simple at first. But it honestly is pretty hard to learn and use each word the right way every time you use them. But now that you know the difference, commit it to memory by using the helpful tools above, and live the rest of your life using each one the proper way. Oh, and don’t forget to pronounce them the right way too!