'Access Something' or 'Access to Something'? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 18 May 2023)

Access or Access To: Which One Is Correct?

Access can be either a verb or a noun.

As a verb, it is transitive and therefore takes a direct object:

You have to enter a password to access our online course.
You have to enter a password to access to our online course.

Everyone should be able to access affordable legal advice.
Everyone should be able to access to affordable legal advice.

There are several ways to access our content digitally.
There are several ways to access to our content digitally.

Thousands of people access my website every day.
Thousands of people access to my website every day.

Access to something is correct only when access is used as a noun:

You have to enter a password to gain access to our online course.

We must ensure that everyone has access to affordable legal advice.

Access to affordable health insurance coverage must be expanded.

✅ Carrie was refused access to our website.

Many social media users are afraid of losing access to Facebook.

Examples from the Media

A ransomware attack may have accessed the names, addresses, social security numbers and medical information of customers of several Michigan healthcare companies. —The Washington Post (2019)

The municipality has installed temporary washrooms in areas where homeless residents have been unable to access public buildings due to the pandemic, and in some busy city parks. —Toronto Star (2020)

Thousands of people from Hong Kong risk losing access to their pensions if they come to the UK under a new visa scheme. —The Telegraph (2021)

Anyone can gain access to the library or museum exhibitions and enjoy performances that are free or at affordable prices. —South China Morning Post (2022)


In the following sentences, fill in the blanks with access or access to.

1. People in certain countries are unable to ________ YouTube.

2. Spencer was denied ________ the show by a security guard.

3. VIP members have exclusive ________ the lounge.

4. You won't be able to ________ your account if you can't find your password.

5. An increasing number of people ________ the internet solely via mobile devices.

6. Students must have ________ good learning resources.

Answer Key

1. access    2. access to    3. access to    4. access    5. access    6. access to

Recommended Further Reading

'Assess' or 'Access'?

Real-World Examples of Misuse

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