Difference between Accent and Ascent

Key Difference: Accent is a mark used to show the stress on a syllable or to pronounce with emphasis. The term "ascent" means to climb or increase in elevation.

The two terms accent and ascent cannot be used interchangeably. Both are the two different words that have significantly different meanings, and has to be used within the right context.

An ‘accent’ can be some distinction in pronunciation or value. Accent can affect pronunciation but it will not harm the individual’s personality. It is said that if one has a strong accent then it could be a problem to understand the pronunciation. It doesn’t mean that a French or Thai people don’t have a good accent. Of course they have a good accent; it’s just that it varies from country to country, city to city and town to town.

It is not necessary that if an individual is learning a second language, his pronunciation will be correct. They have a thick accent and it is common to say that they have a problem in pronunciation. Improved pronunciation can often mean reducing a foreign accent when speaking English.

Dictionary.com defines ‘Ascent’ as:

  • An act of ascending; upward movement; a rising movement: the ascent of a balloon.
  • Movement upward from a lower to a higher state, degree, grade, or status; advancement: his ascent to the governorship came after a long political career.
  • The act of climbing or traveling up: three climbers attempted the ascent of Mount Rainier.
  • The way or means of ascending; upward slope; acclivity.
  • A movement or return toward a source or beginning.

The term "ascent" means to climb or increase in elevation. It is a noun and can be used in a metaphorical sense. For example: "I made the ascent up the mountain and planted a flag at the top of the mountain." It can also be used as a sign or progress. In simple words, if your meaning implies any physical motion, such as rising in height or status, choose the one with a ‘c’ for climbing: ascent.

Comparison between Accent and Ascent:





Accent is a mark used to show the stress on a syllable or to pronounce with emphasis.

The term "ascent" means to climb or increase in elevation.





The speech of a lot of people.

A rise or a climb up the stairs.


  • He is one of us, even though we speak with different accents.
  • He efficiently juggles the characters, which range in age and accent.
  • Regional accents can be tough to decipher.
  • We clipped our ropes onto a cable and began the ascent, a mixture of hiking and climbing.
  • Old age is not an illness, it is a timeless ascent.
  • Their successful ascent may have provided a clue to another climber’s mysterious fate.

Image Courtesy: wikihow.com, harpersfitness.co.uk

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