Affect and Effect
1. The word affect is most often used as a verb and, as such, is pronounced as though it begins with a short uh sound. The accent is on the second syllable (uh-fekt´). Affect means to change or to influence.
The combination of narcotics affected (influenced) the patient's sensorium.
The use of some drugs affects (changes) the effectiveness of others.
2. The verb affect is often accompanied by helping verbs, i.e., was, is, shall, will, has, have. The verb endings -ed and -ing may also be added.
It is uncertain how the news of his terminal state will affect (influence) the patient.
3. The word effect is most often used as a noun. When used as a noun, it is often preceded by the words an, the, this, these, as well as other adjectives such as positive, good, poor.
It is uncertain what effect (outcome) the news of his terminal illness will have on the patient.
4. The noun effect is often the object of a verb. In one example below, effect is not only the object of the verb produced but is preceded by an adjective, i.e., an article and an adjec- tive. It means the outcome, result, product, sequel, or end of an action.
The combination of drugs produced an adverse effect.
The surgical procedure produced a good cosmetic effect.
5. Often, effect is used in the context of a drug's action or with names.
digitalis effect Doppler effect
placebo effect Tyndall effect
6. When used as a verb, effect is pronounced by some doc-tors as though it begins with a long e sound (ee´fekt) so that we will spell it correctly. As a verb, effect means to accomplish, to cause, to create, to do, or to execute in such a manner as to bring about a desired result.
This therapy should effect a cure.
Closure was effected (brought about) by interrupted sutures.
This regimen effected (brought about) a reversal of the patient's symptoms.
7. In summary, affect is most often used as a verb; therefore, it has verb endings (-ed, -ing), is used with helping verbs (has, is, was), and means to change or influence.
8. Effect is most often used as a noun and means the result or outcome of some action. It may be preceded by articles (a, an, the) and other adjectives (this, these, good, placebo, ill, side, negative).
9. In psychiatry, the word affect (usually pronounced "af´-fekt," with a short "a" sound and the emphasis on the first syllable) is commonly used as a noun, meaning an outward appearance of an inner emotion.
The patient demonstrated a flat affect.
This patient's affect has affected her ability to effect a normal relationship with others and work effectively but has had no effect on her ability to care for herself.
This patient's emotional state has changed her ability to achieve or accomplish a normal relationship with others and work with good results, but has had no result on her ability to care for herself.
The effects of transcribing difficult reports affect our affect to such an extent that we cannot effect transcription effectively.
The results of transcribing difficult reports influence our emotional state to such an extent that we cannot accomplish transcription with good results.