While I have been known to occasionally call people out for their misuse of the english language, I have to admit that I am a huge perpetrator of this crime. When is the right time to us affect, and when do you use effect? To me, they are the same, but realistically, they are as different as a noun and verb. Literally.

According to Grammar-Monster.com:

Effect is a noun meaning outcome, consequence, or appearance.

To affect is a verb meaning to transform or to change.

Basically, If you can replace the word with outcome, consequence, or appearance - and it still sounds correct - then Effect is the proper word.

"When she poured her drink on me, I realized my pick-up line didn't have the effect (outcome) I was hoping for"

If you can replace it with transform or change, then you use Affect.

"My lack of dates affected (changed) my approach to women"

Now you know...and knowing is half the battle.