Difference Between Access and Excess (With Table)

Access vs Excess

The key difference between Access and Excess lies in the fact that “Access” means to connect something or to enter a place whereas excess means that something is more than the required quantity or amount or basically which is extra.

Access stands as a noun and verb in the part of speech while excess stands as a noun and adjective in part of speech.

English sometimes creates a little confusion between native & non-native speakers because certain words have similar pronunciations but spellings and meanings of those words are very different.

One such pair of the word is Access and Excess, both of these words sound similar but are often confused when used and interchanged incorrectly but they are meant for different situations or circumstances.

Thus, if you want to communicate well and appropriately, you must correctly understand the difference between them.

Access refers to the opportunity to take admission or entry, whereas Excess means to the quantity of particular thing that is more than enough.

Let’s understand the difference between them through an example:

Access to the internet is allowed but make sure employees should not use the data in excess.

In this example, the access word is used to signify permission of using the internet, whereas the word excess, is used concerning to restrict the overconsumption of the data limit provided by the organization to their employees.


Comparison Table Between Access and Excess (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonAccessExcess
MeaningA mean or way to reach or connect something, approach or to enter, a passage, an entrance. (Uncountable)The state of going beyond or surpassing the defined limits, the being of a measure beyond necessity or sufficiency, superfluity, extravagance, immoderately, superabundance, surplus. (Countable)
Part of SpeechNoun and VerbNoun and Adjective
EtymologyMiddle English means an ‘abrupt attack of illness’ in common sense- came from the Latin word “accessus” and the verb accedere i.e. to approachLate Middle English- came via old french and from Latin excessus and excedere i.e. go out or surpass
Examplea. You can’t access the ERP system as a software upgrade is going on.a. You should sell-off the excess inventory to avoid loss.
b. Every building should have easy access to escape routes in case of fire.b. We have an excess of food; we can share with our neighbors.
c. Access to this site is prohibited.c. Heart problem occurs due to the consumption of excess oil.
d. Only senior rank IAS/IPS have access to the PMO office.d. One should not drink excess alcohol.


What is Access?

The word Access refers to be able to have what is required or needed. In simple words, access is the opportunity, admission, act of entry, approach, gaining use of, or permission, through which an individual gets what he/she inclined to or desires.

Access can be used as a noun and a verb, let’s understand the use of access from a few examples.

Used as a Noun:

As a noun, access refers to the way of getting or reaching close to any person or a place:

  1. You need ships to have access to the island.
  2. Sana was allowed to access the conference room to conduct an important meeting.
  3. Common people are not allowed to access the army cantonment area as it is strictly prohibited due to security issues.
  4. You can access my system if you have something critical or important to finish.

Access as a noun also states or shows the authority or right, like

  1. There are many rural areas where access to modern medical facilities is not available.
  2. Once you enter the required credentials, you can access your bank account.

Used as a Verb:

Access as a verb means obtaining data or information to use or utilize the same,

  1. Biometric systems access human ontology to allow access to any system.
  2. You can remotely access the application system once you enter the right VPN (virtual private network) credentials.
Having Access to
Having access to something

What is Excess?

Excess refers to the overabundance or surplus of anything i.e. more than the needed quantity or required amount. Excess can be used as a noun and adjective in sentences.

When used as a noun, it means something more than enough and when used as an adjective it quantifies or describes the subject amount as too much. Let’s see a few examples of excess in sentences.

Used as a Noun:

  1. This month we have purchased excess inventory.
  2. It would be great if you can share the excess food left after-party with poor ones.
  3. Our yard is flooded with water due to excess rain in the region.

Excess can also refer to the state of working outside the permitted or normal extent, like:

  1. You can’t withdraw excess money this ATM above Rs. 10,000.
  2. Shally was talking in excess.

Used as an Adjective:

  1. You have used excess words in the mail, kindly remove.
  2. Jeff has put on excess weight.
  3. When you are done making the cake, please clean up the excess four from the counter.
  4. It’s too cold outside, we should keep excess food.
  5. The excess movie tickets were sold at a 50% discount.
Excess Food
Exess means more than you want or need

Main Differences Between Access and Excess

  1. When we use the word access in sentences it refers to the right to get an opportunity or entry or to the way to gain or reach something. On the contrary, excess in sentences quantifies something in surplus or is beyond desired or required levels. 
  2. In pronunciations, when we pronounce the access word we stress heavily on the first syllable and conversely, when we pronounce the word excess, stress goes to the second syllable.
  3. Access is uncountable but excess is countable.
  4. Access can be used as a noun and a verb, whereas Excess can be used as a noun and adjective.


Few More Examples


  1. Civil services aspirants or students can access the digital notes.
  2. Trade barriers that exist between different countries don’t allow foreign manufacturers to access the Indian market.


  1. These days excess campaigning and promotions are done by the political parties during elections.
  2. Don’t worry excess tax paid by you will be refunded once you file ITR.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Access and Excess

  1. How do you say excess?

    The meaning of the term excess is something that is more than the required quantity. To pronounce the word excess, you have to split the word into two halves, EX + CESS.

    Now, spell the word turn by turn. It should be kept in mind that the sound of X is important as this differentiates the word excess from access.

  2. What is the synonym of assess?

    The meaning of the term assess is the ability to evaluate something. It also means to estimate the value of something.

    The different synonyms of assess are evaluated, judge, gauge, rate, and estimate.

  3. How do you use assess in a sentence?

    Assess can be used with adjective, verb and adverb.

    Examples of the sentences are:
    1) The teacher will assess the reading skills of students in the class.
    2) The delegates assessed the flood situation in the region.
    3) Authorities in charge are in the process of assessing the damage caused by last night’s storm.

  4. How do you use excess in a sentence?

    Excess can be used with adjectives, with nouns, with verbs and also with adverbs. It refers to anything which is surplus.

    Some examples are as follows:
    1) People are suffering from excess of stress.
    2) There is no need for providing excess of information.
    3) The girl draped the excess of cloth on her shoulders.

  5. What are the 4 types of assessment?

    The 4 types of assessment are as follows:
    Placement – This includes seating assignments, auditions, and challenges.
    Summative – It includes concerts, events, festivals or other places where the final work is displayed.
    Formative – This type of assessment involves the assessment of students on a daily basis.
    Diagnostic – This type of assessment includes the instructions which are given every day to the students.

  6. What is excess payment?

    The term excess payment is related to the collection period and the receivable period.
    Talking in the context of the receivable and collection period, the amount by which the actual amount of the payment exceeds the sum of the two payments, that is, the overdue payment and the scheduled payment is termed as the excess payment.

  7. What is the antonym for access?

    The meaning of the term access is the ability or means to enter or approach any place. It also means to take advantage of a particular thing.

    The different antonyms of access are as follows: exclusion, rejection, exit, refusal, expulsion, exiting, departure, move out, egress, leave, leaving and get out.



Access and Excess are homophones as they have similar pronunciation but altogether different meanings, spellings, and usage.

The good memory aid to remember the difference is Excess means something exceeding or extra where both start with “ex” and for access, associate it with accessible.

We hope the above information and examples are enough to understand the difference, and now you will identify each word correctly.


Word Cloud for Difference Between Access and Excess

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Access and Excess. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

access and
Word Cloud for Access and Excess



  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/access
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/access
  3. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excess
  4. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/excess