Accept vs except


Accept is a verb. To accept something is to agree to receive the object or action. You may accept the actions of others by giving approval or not objecting to them. The adverb form is acceptingly, and the noun form is acceptingness. They are rarely used.

Except can be a preposition, conjunction, or a verb. In all forms the general meaning is to exclude, leave out, or be outside of a group or set. The adjective form is exceptive. The preposition and conjunction forms may be except or excepting.

The confusion of these words comes with pronunciation. Accepted pronunciation of accept includes \ak, ik, or ek\ for the first vowel sound.


While the Western world now largely accepts a live-and-let-live ideology, it was not that long ago that religious intolerance was our norm, too. [Sydney Morning Herald]

The self-proclaimed “best cop money can buy” is headed to federal prison for seven years and three months for accepting bribes to protect drug dealers as chief of police in his tiny borough of East Washington. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

His body seems to sag forward acceptingly, as if in acknowledgment of a humiliating state of weakness. [The Independent]

Excepting coverage of Vice President Joe Biden, the national media didn’t have much nice to say about the first day of the 114th Congress. [The Washington Post]

Deaths from cancer will be “eliminated” for all age groups except the over-80s by 2050, if recent gains in prevention and treatment carry on apace, experts have said. [The Independent]

Agents acting for the owners, the Church, failed to include the necessary “exceptive clause” which would have withheld the newly legislated right to buy the freehold. [The Telegraph]

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