Difference Between Access and Excess

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: June 06, 2023


Difference Between Access and Excess

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The English language can be confusing at times for native as well as non-native speakers. There are several words in the vocabulary that might confuse us while using them in our writing or daily conversations. There are hundreds of word pairs in the English language that are related in various ways and nearly have the same pronunciation. This pair of terms is known as ‘homophone’ because of their similar pronunciation. Homophones are words that sound alike and make it difficult for the listener to distinguish between them. In this article, we will talk about the differences between the words ‘Access’ and ‘Excess’ that have similar pronunciations but they differ completely in their meanings when we use them in a sentence.

We can use ‘Access’ as both a noun as well as a verb in a sentence. While using it as a noun. It can mean a variety of things. The most frequently used definitions include the capacity or right to approach, enter, exit, communicate with, or utilize something as well as to do those things.

For Ex-

  • Do you have access to my laptop?             
  • I have access to the VIP area of the show.             
  • The internet allows us to access information from any part of the world             
  • I don’t have access to operate this file or to open the computer.             
  • You won’t be able to change the details unless you have access to the account.

While ‘Excess’ can be used as a noun, adjective as well as a verb in a sentence. Its main definition as a noun is an amount or quantity that is greater than what is usual or sufficient. While using it as an adjective it possesses almost the same meaning as it does in a noun form.

For Ex-

  • Don’t forget to remove the excess oil from the pan.             
  • If there is any excess food left donate it to the helpers.             
  • Never waste the excess food always donate it to those in need.             
  • Your luggage is over the excess limit allowed at the airport.             
  • Due to excess snowfall, all the roads were shut down for the safety of tourists

Access vs Excess

The main difference to remember between these two similar words is that ‘Access’ is used as a noun and a verb in the sentence which is defined as the ability to approach or enter a location, to gain something or permission. On the other hand, we use ‘Excess’ to describe something extra in amount or something more than sufficient.

For Ex- Rural areas do not have proper access to drinking water.              Can I have access to your office’s computer?              People still don’t have access to necessities in rural areas.

For Ex- Give me the excess sheets if there are any left.               Do you have excess money?               If you eat excess, you might feel sick on the train.

Difference Between Access and Excess in Tabular Form

Parameters of comparisonAccessExcess
DefinitionIt refers to an approach, a method, a connection, or a way to get to something. It can also mean getting an entry or permission for something.It refers to the amount of anything greater than what is required or desirable. To surpass the defined limits.
Part of Speech‘Access’ is used as a noun or a verb in a sentence.‘Excess’ is used as a noun or an adjective in a sentence.
QuantityIt is referred to as uncountable.It is referred to as countable as it talks about quantity.
ExamplesAccess to this room is denied.In school, we have no access to mobile phones during class.Do I have access to this website?There is an excess of chocolates in this shop.Can you remove the excess items from the cupboard?Excess of anything is bad.

What is ‘Access’?

The definition of access is having access to anything that is required or necessary. In other words, access is the method, opportunity, or permission that a person uses to obtain what they want. It can be used in phrases as both a verb and a noun. As it is in unmeasurable form, we cannot count it in proper terms. But it can also be used to depict an addition or outburst of emotions in a sentence.

How and when to use ‘Access’

Access, when used as a noun, refers to the means of getting close to a location or any individual.

For Ex-

  • To need access to this club you must have an identity card.             
  • You cannot enter the premises if you do not have access.             
  • Do you have access to enter this shop?

When used as a noun, it could also imply power or authority.

For Ex-

  • If we know his password, we can easily his account and get the details.             
  • There is a large number of people in rural areas who still doesn’t  have access to basic healthcare facilities.             
  • We are not able to access this blog, it has some glitches.

When used as a verb, access means obtaining data from a computer file or storage device to use it.

For Ex-

  • Can you give me the details so that I can access the worksheet?              
  • I am not able to access the storage drive due to some errors.              
  • My father is not able to access his bank account details.

It is also used to depict a sudden outburst of emotions.

For Ex-

  • He lost the competition due to his access to rage.             
  • When she got rejected in the interview, she had access to grief.              
  • Due to access to emotions, he was not able to complete his farewell speech.

To depict an increase by addition.

For Ex-

  • He won the lottery and had access to wealth.


  • We do not have access to this private area.
  • Only those who have access to the password can open this computer.
  • Our teacher only gave access to those who completed their assignments.
  • The market gave access to many businesses.
  • You can access the free Wi-Fi by using this password.
  • We do not have access to proper water and electricity.
  • Can I get access to your apartment?
  • The access to the library was closed due to the ongoing construction work.
  • You should always use the authorized system to access the files.
  • Our teacher gave us access to the computers in the lab.
  • Only higher authorities have access to attend this conference as it is confidential.
  • He had access to emotions while watching the famous TV series.

What is ‘Excess’?

Excess refers to an abundance of something, i.e., more than what is needed or necessary. It can be used in phrases as both an adjective and a noun. In some cases, it is also used as a verb to depict the dismissal or elimination of an employee or a position. As we talk about a measurable quantity while using this word thus, we can say it’s a countable entity.

How and when to use ‘Excess’

  1. While used as a noun, it refers to something greater in quantity or surpassing the limits.

For Ex-

  • If you have excess books donate them to a library.              
  • The principal of our school removed the excess faculty from the department.               
  • Don’t forget to keep aside the excess food.

It may also refer to the condition of working more than is usual or permitted.

For Ex-

  • Don’t do excess work otherwise you’ll be tired.             
  • You can’t use money excess than 5000.             
  • One should not be too excessive about results.

Used as an adjective, it denotes something extra.

For Ex-

  • Please excess students return to your classrooms.             
  • Everyone comments on her excess weight.             
  • Our company faced excess profits this year.


  • Children have excess energy when they play.
  • Do you still have the excess money I gave you that day?
  • You can give the excess items to needy people.
  • Due to corona, many companies excessed their workers.
  • He ate excess ice cream yesterday and now he is sick.
  • Can you cut the excess cloth from the dress so that it fits perfectly?
  • We gave the excess clothes to the children who needed them.
  • You should not talk to excess in front of the professor.
  • The excess vegetables and fruits got destroyed by the rain yesterday.
  • Is there any excess food available at home?
  • Can you please clean the excess paper sheets off the floor?
  • Excess drinking could be harmful for your health.

Main differences between Access and Excess (in points)

  • When we talk about access, we're talking about the ability to get to something or the right to enter. Contrarily, we use the word "excess" to refer to amounts of something that are greater than what is typically required or desired.
  • Access can be used as a verb or a noun in phrases, whereas excess can be used both as a noun and as an adjective.
  • When we use ‘access’ in a sentence it is uncountable as we are not sure about the quantity, we are referring to whereas when we use ‘excess’ we know the amount or quantity we are talking about in the sentence thus, it is countable.
  • Although these words are homophones- words that sound similar while we pronounce them. There is a slight difference in the way we pronounce them. When pronouncing the word ‘access’, we emphasize the first syllable. On the other hand, when we pronounce the term ‘excess’, we emphasize the second syllable.
  • Examples of ‘Access’-
    • Why we don’t have access to our classroom?
    • Does everyone have access to this party?                                        
    • There is no access available for this computer.                                        
    • Can I have access to your desktop computer?
  • Examples of ‘Excess’-
    • If there is any excess food left give it to needy people.
    • Is there any excess drink left?                                      
    • The manager gave us excess work this afternoon.
    • Our college has excess rooms and labs.


There are several confusing terms used in English grammar while writing or speaking which can leave the user perplexed. Although, it is necessary to understand their rules and usage so that you can use them accurately in a sentence without any errors or confusion. Some of these complex words have similar pronunciation, they are also called homophones, but they differ in meanings and their usage in a sentence. This article gives you an overview of the terms ‘Access’ and ‘Excess’- their basic definitions, the key differences between them in tabular form as well as in pointers, how and when to use them in a sentence along with various examples. Except for their pronunciation, the words access and excess are completely unrelated. Simply said, we use the word "access" to refer to the ability to gain entrance or access to any location, whereas the word "excess" can be used to denote excess or more.

‘Access’ is described as "The way or chance to come close or enter a place." It describes the capacity of a person to approach someone or something to gain permission to use it. It is commonly used as a noun or a verb in a statement. It is uncountable.

For Ex-

  • Can I have access to the company’s laptop I have to submit some files.              
  • Do you have access to my apartment?              
  • The students do not have access to the teacher’s staff room.              
  • We can access free internet at airports and metro stations.

The word "excess" suggests an amount that is greater than what is required or desired. When we use the word "excess" in English, we mean the quantity of anything greater than what is typically required or desired. It can be used as a noun as well as an adjective in a sentence. As we know the quantity we are talking about, ‘Excess’ is countable, unlike ‘Access’.

For Ex-

  • We do not have excess seats available in the stadium.              
  • You should not eat excess sweets it is not healthy for your teeth.              
  • The rain was in excess this week which caused severe floods.              
  • Do you have excess tickets for the weekend show of this movie?              
  • Can I borrow your excess books?


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  2. https://www.softschools.com/difference/access_vs_excess/192/  
  3. https://assignmentpoint.com/difference-between-access-and-excess/  
  4. https://www.skygrammar.com/excess-vs-access/  
  5. https://www.grammar.com/access_vs._excess  
  6. https://writingexplained.org/access-versus-excess-difference  
  7. https://languagetool.org/insights/post/spelling-access-vs-excess/


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"Difference Between Access and Excess." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 15 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-access-and-excess>.

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