Affect vs. Effect
When one of my Active Rain friends asked me to write about the difference between affect and effect I had no idea that it is one of the most asked questions on the "Grammar Girl" website. But … she says it is.
Part of the problem may be that there are exceptions to the rules, but in most instances, here is the rule:
Affect is a verb.
Effect is a noun.
How will rising interest rates affect the real estate market? (Interest rates affect… a verb.)
They could have a profound effect, if they rise dramatically. (Interest rates have an effect …a noun.)
A change in the weather may affect turnout at the open house this week-end. (Weather may affect ...a verb.)
Did the rain have an effect on turnout at the open house? (Did rain have an effect...a noun.)
Think of affect as being similar to "influence."
How will rising interest arates influence the real estate market?
Think of effect as being similar to "impact."
Interest rates could have a profound impact on the real estate market.
If you're interested in the exceptions, follow the link above to visit Grammar Girl. Like me, she likes to offer "mind tricks" to help people remember the rules. I couldn't think of one in this instance, but Grammar Girl has a sentence about an aardvark that might help.