Homonym Central Number 1

Affect vs Effect.

No long rules. Just simple definitions:

Affect means cause

Affect is an emotional state  Affect means to act on emotions

Effect means result

Comments? I’d love to receive a good example of a sentence that uses both. Anyone up for it?



6 Responses to “Homonym Central Number 1”

  1. Fiendish Writer Says:

    Affect, meaning “influences,” is a verb.

    Effect, meaning result or influence, is the noun form.

    Unemployment affects the economy. Its effect can be devastating.

  2. sheilamuirenn Says:

    Ouch, nice usage Fiendish, but it hurt a little.

    So much for using writing as escapism from the real world:)

    I’m not unemployed, but some people close to me are.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Fiendish Writer Says:

    You’re welcome. Glad I could clear things up for you.

  4. sheilamuirenn Says:

    The girl lost both parents in a car crash, and her affect, or emotional state, was flat. Lifeless.

    The girl was affected by her loss. She cried every night.

    The overall effect was a psychological change. She withdrew into herself.


    (The first use of ‘affect’ is a psychological term, with the ‘a’ pronounced the same as the a in ‘apple’).

    Anyone else? The more these funky little words are used the better.

    • Fiendish Writer Says:

      ‘Affect’ as a psychological term is interesting, but if your POV character isn’t a psychologist, you risk sounding bland and bureaucratic.

      And yeah, we’re writers, so we need to care about how something sounds. Ne?

      How’s about this one? “She gathered her affects before she left town.” Archaic, but not overly so.

  5. sheilamuirenn Says:

    True, could sound a little off. I once read a book where a psychologist evaluated the MC’s ‘affect,’ which is why I decided to mention it.

    I’ve heard your use of ‘affects’ many times. Not sure I would have known it started with ‘a’ though. I usually get it right just from sound. I didn’t realize it was archaic, but I do read some classics. I’m not the most trendy reader.

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