Sometimes, English language seems to be very confusing. Writers often get confused while writing because most of the words in English language have different meanings but same pronunciation. For speakers, words cannot be so difficult to speak out but in writing, writers should clear up their minds about each and every word. So, this post is related to the explanation of three confusing words that are assent vs. ascent vs. accent.
Assent vs. Ascent vs. Accent – What is the Difference, Definition & Meanings?
At first sight, accent, ascent or assent may be read exactly the same. Actually, three of them have very different meanings. One of these words, accent, is pronounced totally different. On the other hand, rest of the two words, assent and ascent, have same pronunciations but different meanings. It means that assent and ascent can be called as ‘homonyms’.
Assent + Ascent → Homonyms (same pronunciation but different meanings)
Meanings and Examples of Accent, Assent and Ascent:
Accent: It is mostly used as a noun and sometimes as a verb as well. It is defined as ‘a mode of tone or pronunciation of a language’. Nations use a variety of different accents. For instance, English, as being one of the most important spoken languages worldwide, has a variety of accents.
- He will get this job very soon because he has a popular foreign accent. (as a noun)
- You have to accent your abilities to get a job. (as a verb)
You see that accent as a verb is giving slightly different meaning. In this case, meaning of accent would be ‘to emphasize’.
Assent: It can be a noun or a verb. The meaning is ‘to accept or approve any agreement’. When you are using assent as a noun, then remember its meaning as an expression to approve something.
- I will not give my assent unless and until my friend approves it. (as a noun)
- Is it my fault or did you just assented to the agreement?
Ascent: Unlike assent, ascent is used only as a noun. It is related to an upward movement. It is synonymous to ‘rise or climb’. Remember that it is opposite of descent.
- They cheered the ascent of the hot-air balloon. Reference –(Gingersoftware.com)
- The ascent was not so easy on the rough part of the rock.
Learn the Pronunciations:
One tip to memorize the difference between these three words is that you have to learn their pronunciations by heart. Just remember that assent and ascent have same pronunciations, as they have same two initial letters –as. On the other side, accent has a very different pronunciation than assent and ascent. It has –ac and it is pronounced as /ak-sent/.
It is concluded that it is difficult for writers to differentiate between accent, assent or ascent. I have discussed it very clearly that accent has a very different pronunciation than the rest of the two words and it means as ‘a mode of pronunciation or to emphasize’. On the other hand, assent and ascent are homonyms. Both contain different meanings as assent is to accept or approve any agreement and ascent is to rise, climb or moving upward.