‘Assent’ vs ‘Consent’: What’s the Difference? The word ‘Consent’ has become way more familiar in today’s social circles, but how is it used in other contexts? How does it differ from ‘Assent,’ and what do each of these words mean? If you’re looking for the answers to these questions, you’re reading the right article. Let’s learn more about these very important, albeit occasionally confusing words.
In a rush? Here’s a quick overview of what’s to come:
Aside from looking similar in parts of their spelling, ‘Assent’ vs ‘Consent’ are often confused because they have similar meanings as well. Both words relate to an agreement, typically between people or groups of people.
The key difference is the connotation of the type of agreement.
The slightly frustrating issue is that these two words while functioning differently in a sentence or conversation, have many of the same synonyms.
How do we differentiate between the two? We break each word down individually. So let’s do just that and take a closer look at ‘Assent’ vs ‘Consent.’
As a verb, ‘Assent’ can also mean:
The root of ‘Assent’ comes from the Latin ‘assentire’ which means to “feel or think towards” something. You can use this origin as a hint to the word’s connotation — in the sense that ‘Assent’ specifically describes feeling approval towards something.
TOP TIP: You can also just remember that approval, agreement, and ‘Assent’ all start with the letter “a” if you want a simpler trick.
According to Oxford Languages, ‘Consent’ is a noun defined as:
As a verb, ‘Consent’ can also mean:
Note: ‘Consent’ is a term frequently used today in conversations around relationships. In this more specific context, ‘Consent’ is defined as:
Given that these words are often used in more formal and serious contexts, it is important to be able to say them confidently. A major part of this is knowing how to pronounce them correctly. Follow along below to practice proper pronunciation so you’re ready for any conversation or presentation.
Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Assent’ as a guide:
Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Consent’ as a guide:
Given that ‘Assent’ vs ‘Consent’ can be seen as synonyms of each other, it can be hard to distinguish when to use them. Whether we are writing or speaking, context clues are always our friend when it comes to navigating which words are best to use. So, to help provide context and ensure you have full mastery over these new words, here are some sample sentences. Be sure to look them over, then practice writing some of your own to fully nail down their uses.
Navigating words that can be considered synonyms of each other can be extra tricky, given they are already so similar. But sometimes, knowing how they are similar is the easiest way to tell them apart because you can focus on the small differences.
Another major clue will always be context because it informs us of the appropriate scenarios during which these words should be used — so don’t forget to practice your example sentences.
Want a recap? Here’s a quick review of what we covered:
Mastering important and more formal words like ‘Assent’ vs ‘Consent’ can be daunting at first, but once you learn them, your writing and academic work will become much more clear and sophisticated. Be sure to read up on other confusing word pairs to keep expanding your vocabulary and your knowledge of English.