All About Homonyms

They’re most peoples’ weaknesses, so I bet you have issues with them too. Homonyms. Those insidious little words that possess the power to befuddle even the most experienced writer. Two of the most confusing pairs are affect/effect and then/than. So when do we use one term in place of another? Let’s find out.

Affect vs. Effect

Affect is a verb that means “to influence”.

Effect is generally used as a noun that means “the result or impact of something”.

Ex. After studying the effects of coffee consumption on the brain, the researchers concluded that caffeine negatively affects exam performance.

Then vs. Than

Than is used to compare two or more things.

Then is used to indicate sequential order, cause-and-effect association, and conditional (“if”) statements.

Ex. Are you taller than me? If so, then you can reach the cabinet.

I hope this post will have a positive effect on your writing 🙂


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