May 27, 2015

Effect & Affect : Grammar & Editing Tips

A few weeks ago, I posted about Homophones and Contractions. Homophones are words that sound alike (can be spelled alike or not) but have different meanings. 

As an editor, I fix tons of homophones in manuscripts. From time to time, I thought I'd feature some commonly misused homophones. 

Today, I'll discuss effect/affect. At first glance, these might seem easy.

The simple rule: 
Effect is a Noun and Affect is a Verb

You can affect an effect.

Affect: to do something that influences someone or something
Effect: a result or action to someone or something

Ah, there has to be an exception for fun, right?


Effect can be a verb. However, it's used very rarely. Honestly, I rarely use it. There are simply better ways to word the sentence. But, in the effort of full disclosure...

Effect (noun): to make something happen

Example: He wanted to be President to effect change.

Hope this helps.

To date, I've had the following homophone posts if you are interested in checking them out:

Is there an editing/grammar issue that's always caused you trouble? If so, share it in the comments so I can feature it in a future post. 

Definitions from

1 comment:

Jo Michaels said...

I always screw up these two. This is why you're my editor. LOL!!