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Use of the word 'access' as a verb

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#1 CheerfulEmily


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:48 PM

It it ok to use the word access as a verb? Isn't the word 'access' actually a noun? I want to say "you can access your student account online," but everything I read tells me it is not a verb.

#2 buhi


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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

Although a number of usage "experts" say that "access" is a noun and therefore cannot be a verb, this word is a verb in good standing, at least in my copy of the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

There are any number of nouns that are also verbs (reply, turn, play, act and so on). This flexibility is part of the English language. Though the use of access as a verb is fairly recent (the first textual version available is from 1962), the recent development of a word is not an argument against its usage.

However, if you do use it as a verb, understand that there may be a number of pompous people who think that you are an illiterate nincompoop.

#3 Guest_paulette_*

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:19 AM

Buhi is correct, the dictionary defines "access" as both a noun and a verb.

A verb may be defined as the 'action word of the sentence'. To determine whether a word is a verb or not, consider its role in the sentence. How is the word 'access' used in the following sentences?
http://www.laits.utexas.edu/tex/images/gr/transdot.gif Never give strangers access to your bank account. If you can't access the web pages during peak hours, try again.

In the first sentence, 'access' is a thing (a noun) that you can give to somebody. In the second sentence, 'access' is something you do (a verb) with your computer. The point is that whether a word is considered a noun or a verb depends on how it is used in the sentence.

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