The difference between Accent vs. Ascent vs. Assent

Similar spellings, comparable and even identical pronunciations…no wonder there’s confusion among writers about these three words.

Accent usually is a noun that means a distinct style of speaking, as in Laura never could master a Castilian accent when learning Spanish. The word also can be used as a verb for “emphasizing a specific feature,” such as Your earrings nicely accent your dress color.

Ascent means going up, whether literally, as in up a mountain, or figuratively, as in improved social status. To wit, Jill’s ascent to the top of the corporate ladder was quick.

Assent has to do with agreement. It can be a noun that means someone agrees or concurs, as in Before buying a sports car, he would need his wife’s assent, or it can be a verb that means to express agreement, as in The boss cheerfully assented to our public relations proposal.

Hopefully the knowledge you’ve gained from this article with nicely accent your writing talents and you being your ascent to the top of the publishing world…if readers give their assent for you to do so.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.