Do you accept or except an apology? These two words can be frustrating to use because of their similar pronunciation. But they are entirely different in meaning and category.
Learn the difference between accept vs. except so you can avoid this common writing mistake.
Accept vs. Except
The verb accept means to receive something being offered or to agree. Except is a preposition or conjunction that means not including. You may also use except before statements that form an exception.
Accept and except may sound the same, but they belong to different categories of words. They also have different meanings.
Confusing the two is a very common thing with writers of every kind. That’s why it’s important to proofread your work.
How to Use Accept
Use accept when you want to show agreement or if you agree to receive something. This word is subject to conjugation since it’s a verb. For instance, you can say accepts, accepting, or accepted.
Here are some examples:
- I accept you for who you are.
- Sally accepted the summer job at the inn.
- She is accepting the fact that she won’t be able to join the summer trip.
- We are sorry, but this store don’t accept credit cards.
How to Use Except
Except has multiple uses. First, it’s a preposition that means other than or but.
Here are some examples:
- We offer pizza every day except Saturday.
- I am available every day except tomorrow afternoon.
The word can also be a conjunction used before a statement that establishes an exception.
- He doesn’t know your secrets, except that you’re moving to a new state.
- She doesn’t remember anything except that his hair was long.
Except is also a verb that means to specify as not included.
- Maya excepted me from her invitation.
- The historian excepted from his narrative a few famous politicians.
How to Remember the Difference
The best method to remember the difference between accept vs. except is to look at your sentence. Does it need a verb? If it does, you probably need to use accept. If it’s not a verb you’re looking for, you should consider except.
Except is also synonymous with excluding, whose first two letters are identical. “Ex” usually means out, as in exit, exceed, or extract.
Examples of Accept in a Sentence
In China’s depressed real-estate market, desperate developers are accepting wheat and garlic as down payments for rural properties to boost sales [Business Insider].
With both coins down more than 60% since early April and undergoing double-digit intraday swings, it would be understandable for any business to be reluctant to accept them in lieu of dollars [Los Angeles Times]
“Ms. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line. She accepts full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed,” Shah’s attorney Priya Chaudhry said in a statement to PEOPLE [People]
Examples of Except in a Sentence
Inflation is raising prices on almost everything except rotisserie chicken [NPR]
iPhone 14 series could get a bigger battery in all models except Pro Max [9 to 5 Mac].
Learn the Difference Between Accept vs. Except
Understanding the difference between the verb form of accept and the noun except will help you make one less mistake in your writing. Remember that accept is a verb that means to agree, while except means excluding or but.
What other words confuse you? We have a great list of commonly confused words if you want to check it out!