His Effect Affects Me

November 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

This mini-lesson is one I strive to drive home with my honors freshmen at the beginning of the year. It is a mistake I see consistently early on and work to diminish the confusion. It is one of those tricky pair of words that makes us stop and think.  I have made the definition of each as succinct as possible to hopefully eliminate question:

Affect vs. Effect


This rainbow effect at sea is wonderous!

This rainbow effect at sea is wonderous!


Affect means “to produce a change in” or “to influence.”

EXAMPLE: Poor soil may affect the plants.

Effect means “the result.”

EXAMPLE: We won’t know the effect until the plants come up after winter.

And there you have it . . .

GG Bonus:  An easy way to remember the difference between effect and affect is to use the mnemonic device:  RAVEN  “Remember Affect is a Verb and Effect is a Noun”