Access vs Excess – What’s the difference?

The English language can sometimes be confusing. People often find it difficult to differentiate between some English words that almost sound and spell the same. While most people use such terms interchangeably, they cannot stand correct in all cases. Certain words cannot be replaced with others, for instance, the words excess and access.

When we see the terms excess and access, we need to understand that both are different words. Their pronunciations are quite similar, but they both hold different meanings and are used in different situations.

List of Homophones | Homophones Exa... x
List of Homophones | Homophones Examples

So what is the difference between Access and Excess?

Access vs Excess – Difference

As mentioned above, the words access and excess have pretty clear differences in their meanings. Besides that, they also have different functions when used in a sentence. “Access” can function as a noun or a verb whereas, “excess” functions as a noun and an adjective.

These words might spell quite alike, but confusing or misspelling them while using them in a sentence will certainly cause errors.

Access Usage in English

Access as a noun can have several meanings. It can mean the opportunity to be able to use, get an entry, to get at, or the right to approach, etc. Access sometimes can also mean an eruption or additional increase, which is not commonly used. To understand better, let us look at some examples;

“Students have easy access to the basketball court.”

Here access is used as a noun. It determines that students can easily get to a place or get an entry.

“I don't have access to her mobile phone.”

Here again, the word access is used as a noun, and it explains the ability to use or see something.

Access can also be used as a verb, and here it defines the act of seeing or finding something, especially when using an electronic device.

“I have to access my Facebook account to see the details.”

Here access is used as a verb that explains the act of using a device to enter and find information.

Excess Usage in English

Excess as a noun defines the state of something “extra,” an amount that is beyond sufficient, something more than needed. Let us look at some examples;

“Due to an excess of resources, the market prices have gone lower.”

Here excess is used as a noun that defines the state of having something more than needed or extra.

“The tests found an excess of sugar in his blood.”

Here excess used as a noun describes something that is more than needed.

Excess used as an adjective has meanings and significance quite similar. It describes that something is extra or more than required.

“Carrying excess luggage will be a burden.”

Here excess used as an adjective describes the state of something being extra.

Access vs Excess – Conclusion

So we learn that “access” is the opportunity or ability to use or enter something while “excess” defines the state of something extra. They might sound the same, but it is important to spot the difference and use it correctly. Make sure you remember their functions and meanings and do not misspell them, or it will certainly change the entire meaning of the sentence.

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