Effecting Change: What Does It Mean?

Effecting change is to act in a certain way to bring about a result, which in this case is...

Victoria Mac Callum Written by Victoria Mac Callum · 4 min read >

Effecting change is to act in a certain way to bring about a result, which in this case is described a “change”. Both words together can both function as a noun phrase or a phrasal verb. “Effecting” when used as a subject is a gerund.

The gerund phrase “effecting change” begins with a gerund, an –ing word, and will include modifiers and/or objects. Gerund phrases, which always function as nouns, will be subjects, subject complements, or objects in the sentence.

Some synonyms of effecting change:

“To” and its two functions

1.  An infinitive marker (i.e. to show that the next word is an infinitive verb):

    (The kid doesn’t want to tidy up his room.)

2. A preposition (He has gone to lunch.)

When “to” acts as an infinitive marker,  it is usually followed by an –ing form (which in this case is a gerund) or a noun/ noun phrase, like in our sample “effecting change.”

 When is it correct to use “to” plus – ing?

In English, the form verb + -ing is called a gerund if it serves as a noun. So, “effecting” is a gerund, but not all V + ing forms are gerunds.

If the “to” is part of a phrasal verb or a verb + preposition combination:

A phrasal verb is something like “look forward to”, “confess to”, etc. In this case, the “to” is part of the verb itself and is followed by -ing.

The team looks forward to effecting change in the economy.

Is it effect change or affect change?

We have distinguished between effecting and effect. Let us now discuss effect change and affect change and see which one is correct and can be used appropriately.

Both the words may sound confusing and many times people use these two words wrongly. Their usage is very simple if we try to understand with a little focus.

The effect is a noun whereas affect is a verb. However, both can be used as nouns and verbs interchangeably. The effect is most commonly used as a noun and in rare cases, it is used as a verb. Similarly, affect is used as a verb in maximum cases but in rare cases, it can also be used as a noun. So, the verb and noun concept can be applied to both respectively.

Effect change and affect change further can be explained as-

Effect change means- Effect change is to bring the change in action or to implement change.


Affect change means- Affect change is to cause an impact of change.

In simple language, affect is what is being carried out and effect will be the end result after ‘affect’.

But what if we use affect and effect as verbs?

Effect change- to implement some alteration in the process.

Affect change- to influence the process by certain actions.

And what if affect and effect used as a noun?

Effect change- the result or you can say ‘what we obtain after a change’

Affect change- an emotion or what we feel.

Also to know the difference between effected and affected.

If you can see both the words are past participles of effect and affect.

we can use the words as-

In this case, effected is grammatically wrong and should not be used.

Example sentence for the word ‘affected’-

  • The lower middle class will be the most affected people after the pandemic.
  • He was severely affected by pneumonia.
  • Students were affected by the norms added to the education system.
  • Teachers bad health effected the result of entire class.

Can we effect change?

Or if I ask you: Can we effect or cause change?

Easy? And maybe now you know the answer.

‘Yes, we can effect change. The effect, as I have already explained is a noun.

It can be used in the following sentences:

  • The effect of the tsunami was so devastating that it destroyed the entire civilization.
  • Applying aloe on the face at night gives the face a natural effect.
  • He is now achieving a lot is the effect of the hard work and dedication he had invested.
  • The destroyed fields and crops are the effects of the strong winds blowing yesterday.

What does effect change mean?

Effect change if simplified means the result of any process taking place.

Effect can be used in various other forms like-

  • Many doctors keep changing the dose to get the desired effects.
  • You can change the soap if it is not suiting you or leading to bad effects.
  • The after effects of a quarrel are even worse.
  • instant effect of changes he had made.

Now, if we look at affect vs effected

Now, I will explain to you the difference between affect and ‘effected’, that it is a past participle of effect that can not be used and is grammatically wrong.

How do you affect positive change?

Affect means- To influence or bring in some change in the process by certain actions.

Affect positive change means- To bring some alteration or change in the ongoing process which leads to a positive impact or effect.

For better understanding, you can also check different words like affecting change in different phrases like:

  • Greenhouse gases back to the atmosphere and depletion of ozone is again affecting change in the climatic conditions.
  • If we call out the meeting, it may affect the change of the entire process.

We can use affect in different ways like-

  • Affected is the past tense of affect and can be used as-
  • There was heavy rainfall which led to floods and a rescue team has been sent to the affected areas.
  • Affecting present participle of affect and can be used as-
  • I need to concentrate on my studies but the loud music coming from outside is still affecting me a lot.


You will be able to get these words with a little practice. Although, it’s obvious that confusion will occur between them as both of the words sound the same and there is a huge possibility that you will get both the words wrong. This is the reason behind “sometimes writing these two words becomes tricky at times”. And many times usage of both is misinterpreted. You just need to practice these words correctly and use these words accordingly. Writing them again and again and several practices make a person understand grammar.

Only and only writing them again and again and practicing can make you distinguish between such verbs and nouns and other parameters of grammar.

There are various other words in grammar that sound similar and many times people misinterpret them and then use them incorrectly.

For better understanding, you should search the words online and from offline books and write notes which will eventually help you sort grammatical mistakes and you will learn how to use them on daily basis.

Confusion and doubt lead to curiosity and eventually, you end up learning more so go through maximum and clear maximum doubts.

Written by Victoria Mac Callum
Victoria honed up her English language skills in the Media Industry working at a campus radio station in 2014. Since then, she has upgraded to more demanding roles of English teacher on Preply and course creator. She's also a radio presenter, news anchor, voice-over artist, writer and editor. Profile

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