Difference between Access and Excess | Access vs. Excess

Access and excess are very confusing words. English language has hundreds of pair of words that have similarities in different aspects (with almost same pronunciation). This pair of words has similar pronunciation; thus a homophone. Homophones are those words that have a similar sound that can confuse a listener to judge the correct word.

Read the sentences below to comprehend the difference:

  • Access for using internet is free in our town.
  • Excess of using internet on smartphones is dangerous.

Both of the above sentences have different meanings but the pronunciation of the main word in both sentences is similar that may cause a confusion for a listener that which word is right at the start of the sentence. We will discuss both words in detail in this article.

Meanings of Access and Excess

  • Access: Access has different meanings that include to approach, to enter, to connect, to reach or to gain something.
  • Excess: Excess is the quantity of anything, which is in surplus of what is desired or necessary.

Pronunciation of Access vs Excess

  • Access: / ˈaksɛs /
  • Excess: / ɪkˈsɛs /

Synonyms of Access and Excess

  • Access:  enter, penetrate, pierce, attack, bout, seizure, siege
  • Excess: redundancy, extra, spare, surplus, overabundance, overmuch

Definition and Use of Word Access

The word access can be used as a noun and a verb. The word access means to gain something that you need or require. The word access also means to can approach, permission or opportunity that you want to get or to reach any place.

Correct Use Access as a Noun

As a noun, access means the way to reach close to a place or any person. it also means to get authority or right. Look at below sentences.

The remote island has no road access.

You can access the remote island only by a ship or boat.

Once the reach the island, you can easily get access to free internet service.

The remote island has no access to medical facilities.

Correct Use Access as a Verb

As a verb, it refers to get information from a laptop file, or a storage device, or to get login password of any electronic storage device.

Can you please provide me with the password, so that I can access drive C.

You can access free internet service by going to the City Internet Point.

Definition and Use of Word Excess

The word excess is very common in use that means an overabundance of anything, i.e. more than the desired quantity, number, size or amount. We can use it as a noun, and an adjective, in the sentences.

Correct Use Access as a Noun

As a noun, it refers to more than enough, i.e. greater than the required.  For example, “The manager said, “you have to sell the excess stock of wheat in current month.” As a noun, it may also mean the state of working more than normal or permitted extent. For example, “Don’t watch television to excess.”

Correct Use Access as an Adjective

As an adjective, the word excess means extra or surplus. For example, “Kindly remove excess items from the shelf.”

Example of Access in different Sentences

  • My apartment has easy access to the garden.
  • I have a VIP pass with access to the backstage.
  • He has an access of emotion at the end of the movie.
  • The house is easy to access.
  • Only high officials have access to The Prime Minister.
  • The access to the website is not possible because of server error.
  • Aspirants who are preparing for the civil services mains exam can have access to the notes.
  • After removal of trade barriers between countries, now foreign manufacturers can access the Indian market.
  • I had lost my keys and I gained no access to my house. (as a noun)
  • You can use authorized system to access your game library. (as a verb)
  • I was suddenly overcome with an access of rage. (as a noun meaning an outburst)
  • Besides access, excess can be a noun or an adjective. In both cases, it means surplus, excessive, overconsumption etc.         
  • One tip is to stay healthy is to stop excess of fat in your diet. (as a noun)
  • Excess fat can lead you to death. (as an adjective)


Example of Access in different Sentences

  • During elections, the political parties use different campaigning techniques for excess promotion.
  • If you have paid excess tax, then the amount with which it exceeds will be refunded, with interest.
  • The new CEO removed excess staff from every department.
  • I sold the entire inventory so there is no excess left.
  • We’ve had an excess of snow this week.
  • We decided to give the excess food to the homeless.
  • Excess of anything is bad.
  • Do not drink to excess