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“No effect” vs. “no affect”: The answer is crystal clear!

“No effect” vs. “no affect”: The answer is crystal clear!

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Affect vs. effect is a commonly discussed problem; people often still struggle to choose the right one. Which one you should go for, obviously, always depends on the context and the very meaning of the sentence.

But is that the same for “no effect vs. no affect?”

Well, not exactly, because one of these two is actually wrong. 

So, in this article, we will have a closer look at this very problem and determine who’s the actual winner in this epic battle between “no effect vs. no affect.”

No Effect vs. No Affect

Is it “no effect” or “no affect”?

The correct answer to this question is always no effect.” The determiner “no” needs to be followed by a noun.  While it is true that “affect” can be a noun in some (rare) cases, it is usually a verb and it is never used together with the determiner “no” as in “no affect.


The logic behind no effectand no affect

In this article, we claim that “no affect” is indeed wrong. And that is certainly true. But when claiming something, we should also deliver some actual proof for that, right?

Yes, Sir!

So, the proof for that claim is actually pretty simple. 

“No affect” is wrong because “affect” is first and foremost, a verb.

And after “no” we need a noun for the sentence to make sense because “no” needs to be followed by a direct object.  

And this is where effect comes into play because “effect” is first and firemost a noun and can indeed function as a direct object. 

Of course, we could also have other nouns after “no” than “effect.”

A few examples would be:


He is no stranger to adversity. 

Make no mistake about it!

There is no way he will actually beat Roger Federer!


But as you can see, only nouns can actually get this job done!

But now, let’s get back to our original topic and let’s introduce some sample sentences that make use of the expression “no effect”.



No effect: Sample sentences (examples)



His bad temper had absolutely no effect on me.

That silly advertisement had absolutely no effect on me. 

Contrary to our predictions, we found no effect of incubation temperature on duckling behaviors (the expression “no effect” is often used in medicine! This is just one of many many possible examples)

We warned him not to go to the casino, but to no effect (“to no effect” is actually another neat phrase that has effect as its core element. Isn’t the English language just a wonderful thing?)

While the proposed law was certainly a welcome step, it would have no effect on violence against women in other parts of the world. 

Far from being a success, this action had no effect whatsoever.

No Effect


Taking no effecta step further

To make matters a little bit more complicated, or let’s just say to give all you guys a more complete answer about the no effect vs. no affect debate, I would like to go a step further and also talk about two phrases that are closely related to the subject matter.

Those two phrases are:

  • of no effect
  • to no effect

In fact, “of no effect” and “to no effect” look pretty similar at first glance. And they are indeed pretty similar. There are, however, slight differences in the usage of these two phrases. 

So, to start with, let’s talk about of no effect.” 


The meaning of of no effect

The phrase of no effect means that something is either useless or unsuccessful. Another synonym for of no effect

would be of no avail.



The notice was of no effect, as she had received it too late. 


The meaning of “to no effect

The meaning of to no effect” is unsuccessfully, in vain



The thief tried to unlock the door with a crowbar, but to no effect.


The song No effect

If this article had no positive effect on you (yet), then maybe the following song will. 

If you read through the comments, you will even find a guy that was probably also doing his homework on the question of “

no affect vs. no effect,” as he wrote the following:


“My neighbors tried sending in a noise complaint. It had no effect.” 


Well done, my friend! You certainly did your homework!



No effect FAQ


What is the meaning of no effect?

If something had no effect on something, it means that that something did not have the desired result or impact on that other something.  


What are some synonyms for no effect”?

Depending on the context, words like unsuccessful, unprofitable, pointless, in vain and ineffective can serve as synonyms for no effect. 


How do you use the phrase no effect on?

When using no effect in a sentence in which the expression is followed by a prepositional phrase (noun phrase), then the prepositional phrase is usually introduced by the preposition on.” You could, for instance, say, The bad weather that day had no effect on me.