Accept vs. Except: Understanding the Crucial Difference

When you come across the words “accept” and “except” in your writing or reading, it’s essential to understand their different meanings and usage. Though these two words sound quite similar, they hold distinct meanings, and confusion between them can affect the clarity of your writing.

The Main Difference Between Accept and Except

Accept vs. Except: Key Takeaways

  • Accept is a verb that means to receive or agree to something willingly.
  • Except can be used as a preposition or conjunction and means to exclude or leave out something.

Accept vs. Except: Understanding the Crucial Difference Pin

Accept vs. Except: The Definition

While both accept and except may sound similar, they have different meanings and uses in the English language. Understanding their definitions can help you use them correctly in your writing.

What Does Accept Mean?

Accept (pronounced /əkˈsept/) is a verb that means to willingly receive, agree to, or approve of something or someone. When you accept something, you are giving it your approval or consent. Here are some examples to showcase accept in sentences:

  1. John will accept the job offer.
  2. Sasha accepted the invitation to the party.
  3. We must learn to accept our differences and work together.

What Does Except Mean?

Except (pronounced /ɪkˈsept/) can function as either a preposition or conjunction. As a preposition, it means “excluding” or “not including.” When used as a conjunction, it introduces exceptions in a sentence. Here are a few examples to demonstrate except in sentences:

  1. I like all fruits except for bananas.
  2. Everyone is going to the event except Mark.
  3. Except for the last exercise, I finished all my homework.

Remember, the main difference between accept and except lies in their meanings and uses. Use “accept” when you want to convey agreement or approval, and use “except” when you want to indicate exclusion or exceptions.

Tips to Remember the Differences

When trying to remember the differences between accept and except, keep these tips in mind:

  • Accept is a verb meaning “to receive, agree, or believe.” An easy way to remember this is that accept refers to acquiring something.
  • Except is most commonly used as a preposition, as well as a conjunction, meaning “excluding” or “not including.” You can remember it as having an exception to what is being discussed, so excluding an item.

Accept vs. Except: Examples

In different contexts, the usage of accept and except is shown below:

Context Using Accept Using Except
Receiving I will accept your gift.
Agreement She accepted his proposal.
Believing They accept the explanation.
Excluding Everyone except John.

Example Sentences Using Accept

  1. You accept the invitation to your friend’s wedding.
  2. During the meeting, you accept responsibility for your actions.
  3. You accept the challenge and embark on a new adventure.
  4. Your boss accepts your resignation with understanding and support.

Example Sentences Using Except

  1. You like all kinds of ice cream except for mint chocolate chips.
  2. All departments are attending the meeting except for IT support.
  3. You have visited every state in the U.S. except Alaska and Hawaii.
  4. She cleaned the entire house except for the attic, which was left untouched.

Related Confused Words

Accept vs. Agree

Accept and agree can sometimes be confused due to their similar meanings. However, they have distinct differences. Accept (pronounced [ak-sept]) is a transitive verb meaning to willingly receive, allow, or approve of something or someone. On the other hand, agree (pronounced [uh-gree]) is a verb that refers to having the same opinion, understanding, or belief as someone else or consenting to a proposal.

Here’s a brief comparison in table format:

Accept Agree
Meaning Willingly receive Have the same opinion
Example You accept the gift. You agree with their plan.

To help clarify, use accept when referring to receiving or allowing something, and use agree when expressing a shared opinion or consent.

Except vs. Exempt

Except (pronounced [ek-sept]) and exempt (pronounced [ig-zempt]) may also cause confusion due to their somewhat similar meanings and pronunciations. Except is mainly used as a preposition, meaning “excluding” or “apart from,” or as a conjunction meaning “but” or “otherwise than.” Exempt, on the other hand, is an adjective meaning “free from an obligation” or “not subject to a rule or requirement.” Exempt can also be a verb that means “to be free from an obligation or liability.”

Here’s a comparison using a list:


  • Meaning: Excluding or apart from
  • Examples: Everyone is invited except John. / I like all fruits except apples.


  • Meaning: Free from an obligation or not subject to a rule
  • Examples: This income is exempt from taxes. / She was exempted from jury duty.

Accept or Except: Practice and Exercise

Exercise: Fill in the blank

Choose “accept” or “except” to complete these sentences:

  1. I can visit you any day this week _____ Friday.
  2. The applicant didn’t _____ the job offer at first.
  3. The gift was wrapped beautifully, _____ for the tag which was missing.
  4. She decided to _____ their apology and move on from the situation.


  1. Except
  2. Accept
  3. Except
  4. Accept