Are you affected by the challenge of whether to use affect or effect in a sentence? Let us give you some tips to fix this problem!

In Most Cases

Although, like most words in English, both affect and effect can be used in multiple ways, you can expect that in most cases

affect is a verb, and

effect is a noun.

A great way to remember this is that effect (which starts with an e) can be preceded by “the” (which ends with an e)—the effect. So if you can add a “the” before affect/effect, then it’s a noun and should be spelled with an e:

SATs affect/effect a child’s chance of going to a good college.

  • Becomes: SATs the effect a child’s chance…
  • Equals: GIBBERISH! The correct word choice is affect.

One of the side affects/effects of failing the SATs is not getting into a good college.

  • Becomes: One of the effects of failing…
  • Equals: A sentence using effect correctly!

Easy, right?

The “Other Cases”

It gets a little trickier when you’re dealing with the other cases, so we’ll just tell you about the two most common: effected can be a verb (meaning to bring about a conclusion), and affected can be an adjective (meaning to be snobby and artificial).

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