Accept or Except?

The Quick Answer
Accept (verb) (1) to hold something as true, (2) to receive something willingly, and (3) to answer yes
  • I accept he may have been busy, but it was important.
  • I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me. (Singer Bob Dylan)
  • The prince has accepted your invitation.

  • Except (preposition) (1) apart from, excluding
  • In this world nothing is certain, except death and taxes. (Benjamin Franklin)

  • Except (conjunction) (1) but, if not the fact that
  • Making money would not change me, except I won't answer the door. (Director Abel Ferrara)

  • Except (verb) (1) to exclude
  • They are excepted from the general rule.
  • Accept and Except

    There is often confusion over the words accept and except. They sound similar, but their meanings are very different.
    accept and except

    Click on the Two Correct Sentences
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    To accept is a verb. It has several meanings:

    To hold something as true.
    • The officer accepts your point and has decided to let you off with a caution.
    • I accept she may have been tired, but that's still no excuse.
    To receive something willingly.
    • I accept this award on behalf of the whole cast.
    • Do you accept dogs in your hotel?
    • Please accept my resignation. I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member. (Groucho Marx)
    To answer yes (especially to an invitation).
    • The minister would love to accept the invitation to your ball, but she has a prior engagement.


    The word except is most commonly seen as a preposition. However, it can also be used a conjunction and very occasionally as a verb.

    Except as a preposition means apart from, not including, or excluding.

    For example:
    • I can resist everything except temptation. (Oscar Wilde)
    • I have nothing to declare except my genius. (Oscar Wilde)
    • Marge, don't discourage the boy! Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals...except the weasel. (Homer Simpson)
    • It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. (Winston Churchill)
    Except as a conjunction means but or 'if not the fact that'.

    For example:
    • I would go swimming, except I am scared of big fish.
    Except as a verb means to exclude.

    For example:
    • You are excepted from the ruling.

    A Video Summary

    Here is a short video summarizing the difference between accept and except.

    Interactive Test

    See Also

    adverse or averse? advice or advise? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
    What are prepositions? What are conjunctions? What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words