Updated: Jun 15

Even for the most ardent grammarians, using the English language properly can be a real pain in the ass. For new writers who might be a few years removed from high school English, it can be even harder. That's why every Friday we're going to take a stab at clarifying common grammar mistakes, and highlighting tools you can use to help you write gooder than ever before!

So, let's dive right in, shall we?


This one gets me almost every time, but the difference between AFFECT and EFFECT really comes down to whether you're using the word as a verb or not. In general AFFECT is used as a verb, as in:

The giant monster AFFECTED the positions of buildings.

Whereas, EFFECT is usually used a noun:

The EFFECT of the giant monster on the town was, well, giant!

Like everything else in the English language this isn't always the case. For instance, EFFECT can be used as a verb usually when it's describing change or solutions. For instance:

The monster hoped to EFFECT change in the cityscape.

On the other hand, AFFECT can be used as a noun if it refers to an emotion, trait, or emotional response. Like:

Despite being a city-destroying monster, the creature maintained a cheery AFFECT throughout the destruction.


Use AFFECT as a verb when you're writing about making a change or difference in something. Use EFFECT as a noun when you're writing about the outcome of a change.

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