Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Accept and Except

Accept vs Except

‘Accept’ and ‘except’ are pronounced the same way, but their meanings are very different. ‘Accept’ is used with the noun ‘acceptance’, which means an agreement. ‘Except’, on the other hand, is used with the noun ‘exception’, which means a thing that is not part of a greater whole. Both of them can be used in several different ways: ‘accept’ is only a verb while ‘except’ can be used as a preposition, a conjunction, or a verb.

‘Accept’ has the same overall meaning, no matter how it’s used: to take something in. The most common is to agree to something, such as an invitation or a proposal, which is taking said invitation or proposal and
I accept the invitation to your wedding.

The next is to agree with something, or to believe it to be true: taking a certain viewpoint on a subject.

I accept that you had nothing to do with the robbery.
He accepted that she was exhausted, but still said that it was no excuse.
While I did accept his point of view, I’m not so sure that he’s right anymore.

When it’s being used this way, it’s more often followed by a qualifier than not. That means that it’s common to use it when the person doing the accepting only agrees with part of the statement or used to agree but no longer does. It’s perfectly fine to use it without a qualifier, but some people will see it as an incomplete statement.

Finally, it means to receive something.

I accept this award for Employee of the Year!
He accepted the package from the postman and quickly signed for it.

While ‘except’ can be used as different forms of speech, the overall meaning is the same. The word means ‘apart from’ something, to not be included in a group, or to be excluded from something. This is true as a preposition or a verb, though the meaning as a conjunction is slightly different.

When it’s a preposition, it shows the position of one thing in relation to another. When it’s used, there is usually something established in the sentence, and ‘except’ is used to show that the other thing is not part of what’s established.

I love all animals, except for that mean dog across the street that bit me.
He cleaned the entire house, except for the attic.
Except for her breathing, she could hear nothing in the darkness.

As a verb, it means ‘excluded’ more than anything else.

You are excepted from paying the tithe.
He will except people from the park if they break even one rule.

This use of the word is very rare, and it’s most often used in formal settings.

Finally, there is the conjunction usage, where it is used to link two clauses in a sentence together. When ‘except’ is used, it means that one part of the sentence invalidates the other. It can be used in much the same way as the word ‘but’.

I would go out and look for your doll, except that it’s getting dark outside.
He could have won, except he tripped at the last moment.

This is also used most often in older works or formal language. In informal, everyday communication, it’s quicker and more understandable to use the word ‘but’ instead.

The best way to decide which one you should use is to decide whether the thing in question is being taken in or being taken out of something. If it’s being taken in by a person, then it should be ‘accept’. If it’s being taken out of a certain group, then it should be ‘except’.

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  1. It is so confusing to listen someone speaking about accept or except. The context of sentences changes completely when wrong word is used. This guide (and the one on askanydifference) has helped me a lot in remembering the difference between the two. Thanks a lot.

  2. For Indian students, the difference between accept and except is so tough because they sound similar. The hindi meaning is quite easy to remember but because they are spoken similar to each other, I had to refer online this tutorial (and also askanydifference). This is top notch content for accept and except difference. The examples are also good. I have bookmarked it.

    Thanks for your effort for putting this together online.

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