Affect and Effect

What is the difference between Affect and Effect?

To affect something is to change or influence it. To effect something is a rather formal way of saying to make it happen. Confusingly, either may produce an effect or result. (An affect is a technical term in psychology.)

• The stability of the wall was affected by passing Lorries.

• The demolition of the wall was effected by the detonation of a charge of dynamite.

The dynamite did not just affect (influence) the demolition of the wall: it caused it.

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