Dictionary.com

Word Fact: Affect vs. Effect

affect

Affect and effect are consistently among the most frequently looked up terms at Dictionary.com. The perennial interest is not surprising: both of these words can be used as verbs and nouns, and their meanings overlap thematically. This slippery duo can send even experienced writers into a spiral of uncertainty.

Much of the confusion surrounding this pair is due to a shared linguistic ancestor: both words have roots in the Latin verb facere meaning “to do, make.” Affect derives from the Latin verb afficere meaning “to do something to, to have influence on.” Effect descends from the Latin verb efficere, “to make, carry out.”

When it comes to determining which of these to use in a given sentence, it’s helpful to remember that one of these words is more commonly used as a verb, and the other a noun. The verb affect means “to act on; produce an effect or change in” as in The cold weather affected the crops. It can also mean “to impress the mind or move the feelings of,” as in The music affected him deeply. When you’re looking to use one of these two terms to express an action, chances are you’re after affect rather than effect.

Effect is most commonly used as a noun meaning “result” or “consequence,” as in Exposure to the sun had the effect of toughening his skin. It can be used as a verb to mean “make happen,” but that use is less common. Sticking to the basic guideline of effect as a noun and affect as a verb will generally keep you in the good graces of your readers.

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106 Comments

  1. Grace -  September 6, 2016 - 3:54 pm

    This is really helpful! Helped me a lot today.

    Reply
    • Fabrice Dejean -  October 13, 2016 - 6:05 am

      An effect is a noun: A sound effect
      Affect is a verb: His laziness affects his grades
      His laziness affects his studies which will have an effect on his grades / will be affecting his grades.
      One is a noun, effect.
      One is a verb: To affect

      Reply
  2. Ian H -  July 1, 2016 - 5:52 pm

    The examples avoid the tricky cases that give people trouble. Consider for example the following where I have used ‘effects’ in a manner which according to the rule is incorrect.

    Note the effect of temperature on engine efficiency.
    Note that temperature effects engine efficiency.

    These sentences are essentially grammatical restatements. The words ‘effect’ and ‘effects’ are just different grammatical parts of the same word. There is no difference in meaning apart from one being a noun and the other a verb. It just seems wrong that a grammatical tweak should require us to switch to a whole different word. Lets try it again following the stated rule.

    Note the effect of temperature on engine efficiency.
    Note that temperature affects engine efficiency.

    It may be grammatically right but it doesn’t LOOK right. I think this is a case where language is evolving. To me effect and all its parts deal with causality while ‘affects’ has to do with the way people behave. Currently that usage is not accepted, but I think we may be heading in that direction.

    Reply
  3. Dionne -  April 23, 2016 - 10:24 am

    Thank you Robert!! Most helpful!!

    Reply
    • MRgameNwatch -  April 28, 2016 - 7:47 am

      thanks

      for useful info

      Reply
      • NBrewer -  September 3, 2016 - 9:30 pm

        The effect of abuse can leave someone with a flat affect. Ok, sentence right or wrong?

        Reply
  4. Jasmeian -  April 14, 2016 - 10:33 am

    Is this sentence written correctly… If it don’t effect me it want affect me?? Yes or no correct if wrong

    Reply
    • Roo -  April 19, 2016 - 11:53 am

      Doesn’t and won’t are wrong

      Reply
    • Adella Garwood -  April 20, 2016 - 6:33 am

      If it doesn’t affect me it won’t effect me.

      Reply
      • sss -  May 18, 2016 - 11:02 pm

        same

        Reply
    • Willie Wright -  April 28, 2016 - 5:38 pm

      NO

      Reply
  5. IM THE BOSS -  April 13, 2016 - 11:21 am

    IM THE BOSS SO U GOT TO DEAL WITH IT HATER LOL

    Reply
  6. kris -  July 25, 2015 - 9:21 am

    I remember hearing how a person behaved with “such affectation” meaning they tried to present themselves as having more knowledge/power/wealth/influential friends, etc. than actually was the case. In this way, I see the word “affect” as a substitute for pretense. Now, I’m really confused!

    Reply
    • crossjacky -  October 17, 2015 - 7:12 pm

      me too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  7. Beats Headphones -  January 25, 2015 - 10:00 pm

    Very descriptive blog, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a part 2?

    Reply
    • s -  April 21, 2015 - 10:05 am

      nah fam

      Reply
      • MRgameNwatch -  April 28, 2016 - 7:42 am

        it’s really not

        Reply
      • s -  May 18, 2016 - 11:02 pm

        wtf dont steal my name

        Reply
        • a -  May 25, 2016 - 1:38 pm

          don’t swear!!!!

          Reply
    • Robert -  May 1, 2015 - 12:54 am

      As far as how many or how much that is subjective. I like the idea of turning the volume up if I want to. I also like to have control of the frequency etc like an equalizer. The more areas that you light in a respectful way and then separate the control of the lights by design and especially to be able to dim them… then what is excess really as a condition when compared with the inability to create?

      An effect is what I just got when you read this.

      To affect is what I just did.

      Reply
      • Jeffrey -  July 27, 2015 - 12:54 am

        The way I remember the difference is:

        A – Affect – Action
        E – Effect – End result

        “His bad attitude is Affecting (Acting upon) his performance, which can have negative Effects (End results).”

        Reply
        • rachel -  August 6, 2015 - 1:58 pm

          Hey, that’s really helpful! Thank you, I’ll remember that!

          Reply
        • Hannah -  August 31, 2015 - 10:54 am

          Very good! I always get confused with this during school.

          Reply
        • Kathy Brown -  September 6, 2015 - 9:39 am

          ^ 5… good one…. I love those tricks to help my fading memory.

          Reply
        • rabia isma -  January 9, 2016 - 8:12 pm

          smart ellaboration.kindly share out more of other words.

          Reply
        • Rajesh Kumar Khandelwal -  March 17, 2016 - 6:46 am

          Nice way to remember

          Reply
        • Audrey -  March 29, 2016 - 8:41 am

          That is SO helpful; thank you very much for that!!

          Reply
        • Stephanie -  April 4, 2016 - 3:42 pm

          I will always remember now! Thanks!!!

          Reply
        • Omraj sharma -  April 4, 2016 - 6:07 pm

          Thanks . it will be very helpful for me…

          Reply
        • Nakshh Kohli -  April 17, 2016 - 2:00 am

          really nice mnemonic if you know what it means

          Reply
        • Dionne -  April 23, 2016 - 10:21 am

          Great way to help remember!! Thank you, Robert!!

          Reply
        • Whatevs -  April 24, 2016 - 9:49 am

          Thx that was very useful

          Reply
        • MRgameNwatch -  April 28, 2016 - 7:43 am

          hey

          Reply
        • Anusha Yaga -  April 30, 2016 - 5:11 am

          Uff.. Thanks.. :) well explained!

          Reply
        • Majid -  May 7, 2016 - 5:29 am

          Thanks Jeffrey for sharing the trick to remember the difference. Now we can also use it,

          Reply
        • Lauren -  May 14, 2016 - 7:00 am

          That’s really helpful! Thanks for helping me to ace my English final!!

          Reply
        • Ram -  June 5, 2016 - 9:31 pm

          Excellent. Easy way to remember such much confused. Thanks a lot !

          Reply
        • Donna -  June 6, 2016 - 2:19 pm

          You so smart Jeffrey..

          Reply
        • sri immadi -  July 15, 2016 - 1:51 pm

          This is really helpful. I have no more confusion and is easy to remember. Thank you.

          Reply
        • Natasha -  August 12, 2016 - 12:23 pm

          Wow, I read this entire blog (which was great night I add) but I got more out of your 2 sentences than I did reading this! I have ADD so I tend to get things jumbled up if it’s not written simple. Thank you!

          Reply
        • ccco -  August 28, 2016 - 10:44 pm

          According to the rule as it is stated in this post, the only way i will ever use the word affect is as “affecting”.

          Reply
        • Tony Singer -  October 8, 2016 - 6:46 am

          Jeffrey, July 27 2015, Thank you so very much!
          The way in which you wrote the explanation was in a literary style that might make it more memorable and affective (?). I am hopeful that over time it will effect my writing by becoming more natural. Obviously I am not quite there, yet.

          Reply
      • TomUSMC -  March 15, 2016 - 8:42 am

        Well Played Sir!

        Reply
      • rowe goat -  March 28, 2016 - 4:48 pm

        You’re such a Savage

        Reply
      • Fabrice Dejean -  October 13, 2016 - 6:03 am

        An effect is a noun: A sound effect
        Affect is a verb: His laziness affects his grades

        His laziness affects his studies which will have an effect on his grades / will be affecting his grades.

        One is a noun, effect.
        One is a verb: To affect

        Reply
  8. Lori -  January 18, 2015 - 9:19 am

    Paige,
    Ah, but there’s the rub. Impact, and its related forms, seems to have replaced the words affect and effect in today’s media and communication.

    Impact, as a noun, means the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another. As a verb, it means to come into forcible contact with another object. Such power and such beauty all in one word.

    Enter folk who either don’t know or are too lazy to differentiate the words affect vs. effect and choose instead to diminish the inherent strength of this perfect word by misusing it.

    I admit, I am one of those editors who finds the word impactful inherently offensive, however I don’t think that affects the validity of my argument. The overall effect of misusing the word impact when other words will do both diminishes the power of this perfect word and reveals the writer/speaker as a lazy communicator.

    -PEACE-

    Reply
  9. Bob -  December 30, 2014 - 1:14 pm

    Sometimes we do things to “ensure” the proper results (make 100 percent certain) . Other times we simply do our best to “assure” the final results. But, we usually do not “insure” something. The distinction between these three words can be very important in legal documents, regulations and building codes.

    Reply
    • Ignacio -  July 2, 2015 - 12:09 pm

      Bob,

      Not to mention that you will end up sounding real silly on your resume.

      Reply
  10. Puneet Ghai -  December 28, 2014 - 4:53 am

    What is the differenve between its and it’s ?

    Reply
    • Emily Jordan -  December 29, 2014 - 6:03 am

      “It’s” is a contraction that can either mean “it is” or as ownership of something like “it’s book” meaning “the book belonging to it. “Its” is a plural form of “it”, for example “there were many its at the mall” much like if you would say “there were many dogs at the mall.” Hope this helped!

      Reply
      • Cody -  January 9, 2015 - 10:59 am

        It’s is a contraction, yes, meaning it is or it has. But it’s does not imply ownership – that is what its is for.

        Reply
      • mehran -  June 8, 2015 - 12:20 pm

        thanks.

        Reply
      • Kristen -  November 9, 2015 - 9:06 pm

        So, I understand that “it’s” is a contraction for “it is”, such as “It’s cold outside today”. However, I thought that “its” was plural just as Emily did, but what confuses me is basically where the apostrophe is present or not present in a word. For example, lets use the word Susan (a person), what is the difference between 1, 2, & 3? 1) Susans 2) Susan’s 3) Susans’ #1 does not make sense to me, and I always confuse #’s 2 & 3 by assuming that they are both possessive. However, I’m pretty sure that only one of them can imply ownership, #3 “Susans’”, like this is Susans’ car? If so, would that mean that #2 “Susan’s” means ‘Susan is’, like Susan’s going on a bike ride. Anyone, would you mind helping me figure this one out, please.
        Oh, and back to the original question referring to affect and effect, I know that effect is what happens due to a cause, such as cause and effect, like “the teacher left the room and in effect the entire class stopped doing their assignments. However, with affect I mostly hear it in my line of work when someone reports/records that, “the client presented with a flat affect today”, which refers to a person’s emotional affect… :( Now, i’m very uncertain, please reply, thanks.

        Reply
        • Sean -  November 24, 2015 - 1:39 am

          Kristen,

          Regarding the appropriate usage of an apostrophe… when to use one and where to place it. The following (general rule?) works for me. I will use your example of “it’s v. its” “Susan in scenarios 1, 2 and 3″. Regarding “it”… it’s simple really: never use an apostrophe with the word “it”… is the simplest rule, because the only time you can use an apostrophe with “it” is to make the contraction of “it is”… and in almost any context, “it is” sounds better than it’s contraction.

          As for Susan… again, the simple rule is as follows. 1) Susan’s = it is hers, 2) Susans = more than one Susan, and Susans’ = improper usage, as in DO NOT use it. (technically, if there were two Susans who shared ownership, you could maybe use it, but why? It’s much easier to say “it’s theirs”… or “the car is owed by both ladies” etc etc. As a general rule, the only time you want to use an apostrophe at the end of a word, is to indicate a possessive of a plural noun that naturally ends with an “s”. As in if two clowns owned the house, you would write “The clowns’ house was once Susan’s”. If singular and naturally ends with an “s”, then add ‘s on the end… as in “Chris’s dog ate the boys’ lunch” (note “boys” is a plural that end in s so use only an apostrophe at the end and even though his name ends with an s, Chris is singular, so use ‘s. It could have been “Chris’s dog ate the boy’s lunch” That lets the reader know that you are referring to one boy, and it was his lunch

          Reply
      • sego -  April 5, 2016 - 2:47 am

        and Emily.. you must really be from Jordan! meaning, you can not be a native speaker! otherwise, you sud start frm the beginning!

        Reply
    • Lewis J. -  July 13, 2015 - 11:52 am

      [its] is a term that denotes one object possessing another. Example: (Talking about a car) Its tire were worn down, so it needed to be serviced.

      [it's] is a contraction of the two words ‘it’ and ‘is’. Example: It’s going to be hot outside today.

      Reply
    • Benson -  April 19, 2016 - 7:49 am

      It actually depends on what context its in, seeing as I used it there so it can’t really be explained without a lot of different examples to show but I don’t have time for that…

      Reply
    • Whatevs -  April 24, 2016 - 9:53 am

      Like…
      It’s stands for it is
      ( It’s getting very annoying)

      And…
      (Its life depends on it)

      Reply
  11. Puneet Ghai -  December 28, 2014 - 4:53 am

    What is the difference between its and it’s ?

    Reply
    • Brynn L. -  March 21, 2015 - 9:52 am

      It’s is a contraction meaning ‘it is’.
      “It’s already springtime.”
      Its is a way of showing possession, i.e., something belong to it.
      “Its branches were covered in soft. green leaves.”

      Reply
  12. S.R.SAIFI -  December 18, 2014 - 11:26 pm

    Dictionary.com is a beautiful site where we really learn English usage and look forward to it so that we have mastery of the language.

    Reply
    • Gerald O'Dell -  December 27, 2014 - 5:56 am

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Baal?s=t
      World English Dictionary

      Baal (bɑːl)

      —n
      1. any of several ancient Semitic fertility gods
      2. Phoenician myth the sun god and supreme national deity
      3. (sometimes not capital) any false god or idol

      [from Hebrew bá'al lord, master] LORD SEVEN THOUSANDS Lord written in Bibles Lol
      But you look in http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Lord?&path=/
      you not Find this meaning of Baal Master Lord this not honest at all and above all it lying to the poeple who want Spirit and Truth toward Heaven? Be holy for he is Holy.

      Reply
      • Ignacio -  July 2, 2015 - 12:06 pm

        Hey Gerald.

        Can you please clarify what you are trying to compare? Can you please clarify what is wrong?

        Reply
    • Avy -  August 29, 2015 - 5:04 pm

      Its so impactful and has a long lasting affect on me, so much so that it’s effecting other people. I often find the minutia ineffable.

      Yours sincerely or faithfully…mmm Anon. By which i meant I am not leaving my name not bye

      Reply
  13. Lonnie -  December 16, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    Do something about commas, I seriously over use, commas.

    Reply
    • Rajendra Swain -  January 19, 2015 - 4:23 am

      Thanks dear Lonnie.it is sen in old English of secondary school for which we are habituated.But there may be some mistakes if not verify after completing the sentences

      Reply
  14. Kathryn -  December 15, 2014 - 11:51 am

    I’m going to name myself “Free” so I get all the things people are getting for Free. You aren’t getting it “for free”. You are getting it free of charge.

    If you “could care less” than that means you care. It’s “I couldn’t care less” because you really don’t care and can’t care any less than you already do.

    Reply
    • Ken -  December 22, 2014 - 9:32 am

      Beautiful Kathryn. “I could care less” drives me crazy!

      Reply
    • hank jacoby -  January 3, 2015 - 9:42 pm

      Additional people that should be beaten include those who state that “there will be no admission” to the concert, etc., when they mean “there will be no no admission CHARGE.In other words, people can get in for free. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

      Reply
    • Cody -  January 9, 2015 - 11:14 am

      Yes, I could care less is wrong – like Americanisms in general (especially wrong if you consider it is changing English and yet still claiming it is English). But it is rather common in the US. I will however point out that a trait of all languages is that many rules are illogical. While this one isn’t, the point is the same: logic is out of the equation fairly often.

      I’m not even going to comment on the other part.

      Reply
      • Frank Casale -  June 22, 2015 - 7:27 am

        Cody, I just happen to be reading “old blogs” from past months, and came upon this one in particular.
        When you write something, whether it be a note, an essay, a term paper…etc. Please! Do your readers a favor! Explain yourself!
        First, write a theme statement. Elaborate and clarify the main idea.
        And Second, make your last sentence a summary. A sentence that will review and place emphasis on the main idea of the paragraph.
        When you blog a statement ‘I’m not even going to comment…’
        You leave yourself ineffectual as a writer and make your readers feeling indifferent toward what you’re attempting to express.
        Remember, this is dictionary.com.
        There are no face-to-face conversations, age demographics, etc. Everyone has an opinion!
        It’s not always easy to understand a person’s point of view, but if they’re logical and coherent, hear them out before “jumping all over them.”

        Reply
      • kris -  July 25, 2015 - 9:03 am

        Thank God.

        Reply
  15. Stacy -  December 15, 2014 - 6:56 am

    I know that affect is a verb (action word)
    I also know that effect is a noun (a person place or thing)✌️

    Reply
  16. hiuhjn jeew -  December 14, 2014 - 7:55 am

    That’s interesting. What is the difference between “lets” and “let’s”?

    Reply
    • Theresa -  December 16, 2014 - 5:16 am

      Let’s= the contraction for ‘Let us’

      Lets= not an actual word, unless it is the name given to a person or object, then it would become a proper noun, as is any given name.

      Reply
      • Tess -  December 19, 2014 - 12:25 pm

        What about “She lets her kid go to the movies” ?

        Reply
        • Bobbi -  December 22, 2014 - 11:15 am

          Dear Tess: In my opinion, it would be easier to simply use the word “allow.” Your sentence would then read: “She allows her children to go to the movies?” Hope that helps. I am no expert on the English language, but I do love language.

          Reply
          • Lori -  January 18, 2015 - 8:16 am

            Lets is an actual word. It is a 3rd person present verb, as in the example Tess provided, “She lets her kid go to the movies.” Bobbi’s suggestion to use allows is fine but lets is a valid word.
            Now, let’s discuss the non-word, impactful. Any thoughts?
            -PEACE-

  17. Paige -  December 13, 2014 - 1:19 pm

    Just use “impact”.

    Reply
    • Lori -  January 18, 2015 - 9:13 am

      Paige,
      Ah, but there’s the rub. Impact, and its related forms, seems to have replaced the words affect and effect in today’s media and communication.

      Impact, as a noun, means the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another. As a verb, it means to come into forcible contact with another object. Such power and such beauty all in one word.

      Enter folk who either don’t know or are too lazy to differentiate the words affect vs. effect and choose instead to diminish the inherent strength of this perfect word by misusing it.

      I admit, I am one of those editors who finds the word impactful inherently offensive, however I don’t think that affects the validity of my argument. The overall effect of misusing the word impact when other words will do both diminishes the power of this perfect word and reveals the writer/speaker as a lazy communicator.

      -PEACE-

      Reply
  18. Andy -  December 12, 2014 - 4:22 pm

    Nice one and I am always happy to see others publish proper usage for English.

    The one that really irks me is when people use “of” instead of “have” as in “I would of done that”…

    Feel free to cover that one!

    Reply
    • Sher -  May 23, 2016 - 8:24 pm

      I believe that they are actually using the contraction “would’ve” for would have, but it ends up sounding like would of. Example: I would’ve gone out for coffee with you if you would have asked me to go. OR I would have gone out for coffee with you if you would’ve asked me to go.

      Reply
  19. ANNA -  December 12, 2014 - 12:59 pm

    HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • ANNA -  December 12, 2014 - 1:01 pm

      sup… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
      • Maddie -  December 13, 2014 - 9:07 am

        Y HELLO THAR =P

        Reply
      • makenna -  December 13, 2014 - 4:43 pm

        weirdo.

        Reply
    • cool guy -  December 19, 2014 - 9:34 am

      whats up baby

      Reply
  20. Carolyn Killian -  December 12, 2014 - 11:22 am

    Please, please, please, I beg you to do Lets vs. Let’s (if you have done so do it again!) . . . every sports team’s media / PR department does it wrong and it drives me absolutely out of my mind! I have explained it to people six ways to Sunday!! Some people get it and some people do not, I do not understand why in the world they do not grasp the concept! Lets Go Pirates, Peguins and Steelers :-)!

    Reply
    • Leslie Sears -  December 12, 2014 - 12:16 pm

      This was suppose to post at “Affect vs Effect”.

      Reply
    • Stacy -  December 15, 2014 - 6:57 am

      Haha

      Reply
  21. Shirley -  December 12, 2014 - 8:20 am

    It annoys me that so many don’t use affect or effect, so they can substitute “impact”. Impact is a much stronger word than either affect or effect and should not be used when one of those would be more correct.

    Reply
  22. Adeel Khalid -  December 11, 2014 - 8:49 pm

    Thanks for relieving us from this confusion once and for all. This puts all of us in deep thinking always.

    Reply
  23. Hamzah -  December 11, 2014 - 7:04 pm

    Helpfully illustrated, Thank you.

    Reply
  24. Ethan -  December 11, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    wow, that really affected how I use words!

    Reply
  25. Cynthia -  December 11, 2014 - 6:41 am

    This is all true and Kyle S is right. The way I think about these two as verbs is that one is passive (affect- it receives action) and the other active (effect- it carries out an action). That makes the noun usages easier.

    Reply
  26. Steven Byars -  December 10, 2014 - 7:30 pm

    I just needed a damn dictionary. Look at your name!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • ANNA -  December 12, 2014 - 1:04 pm

      rude

      Reply
      • makenna -  December 13, 2014 - 4:45 pm

        heck yeah that’s rude

        Reply
  27. Kyle S. -  December 10, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    That’s the good rule of thumb: In general, affect is a verb, effect is a noun.

    Of course, you can get really silly with more obscure uses of each word. (In which affect can also be a noun and effect can also be a verb.). For example, “When one effects affect, it affects an effect.” is both grammatically correct and true.

    Added note: When we psychologists use affect as a noun, we pronounce it A-fekt to differentiate it from the verb uh-FEKT

    Reply
    • Jim -  December 11, 2014 - 7:10 am

      That’s very clever, Kyle S. Thanks for that one!

      Reply
    • Betty G. -  December 13, 2014 - 8:59 am

      Thank you very much for the clarification for affect and effect. Well said and a very helpful fact to know.

      Reply
    • bob mont -  October 12, 2015 - 1:32 pm

      do you know were the rule of thumb came from and the meaning behind it

      Reply
  28. Firuz khan -  December 10, 2014 - 12:20 am

    Hypothesis

    Reply
  29. Natalie Ingalls -  December 9, 2014 - 1:22 pm

    This is exactly what i need! Just yesterday, i got these as my Vocab words, and was having trouble with them. Thank you Dictionary.com, you read my mind….

    Reply
    • vijay -  July 16, 2015 - 11:07 am

      anybody tells that what is the difference between then and than

      Reply
      • Veda -  August 19, 2015 - 3:48 am

        “Then” is used to say something was was done after the previous action
        e.g She did her homework, then ate her lunch.

        “Than” is used for comparison.
        e.g It was bigger than the empire state building.

        Reply

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