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Write the Right Word: Affect or Effect

“Affect” and “effect” seem to give some writers a lot of problems. First of all, those two words do not mean the same thing and can’t be used interchangeably.

As a verb, “effect” means to cause. For example: “The new department chair will effect many changes in the next few months.”

As a noun, “effect” means result. For instance: “The effect of last weekend’s rain on crop growth was phenomenal.”

“Affect,” as a verb, means to influence. “The team’s loss on Sunday will not affect its standings.”

Avoid using “affect” as a noun. It's used occasionally as a noun in psychology to describe an emotion,

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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