Effect - means to bring about or cause something.
- My cocker spaniel, Rusty, effected his escape from the yard. (Rusty brought about his escape.)
- No one really knows the long-term effects the death of a parent has on a child. (A parent's death caused something.)
- What are the environmental effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima? (The bomb brought about something to the environment.)
Affect - means to influence, to move the emotions; to pretend or feign something.
- We are all affected by cancer to some degree. (We are all touched by cancer to some degree.)
- Tom's accent sounded so affected. (Tom's accent sounded so feigned.)
- How was Hiroshima affected by the bomb? (How was Hiroshima influenced by the bomb?)
If you are like me, this will continue to be a struggle. Knowing the correct word to use may have a positive effect (change) on how you are perceived by others, as well as affect (influence) their use of the words effect and affect.