When to Use Accept vs. Except

  • Accept means to agree or to receive something offered.
  • Except means excluding or with the exception of.
  • The ex- of except can help you to remember that it means excluding.

Do you have trouble remembering when to use accept and when to use except? Learn how these two words differ and how they function.

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When to use Accept

Accept is a verb. Accept means to agree or to take something offered.

When Bob asked Sally to marry him, she happily accepted .
The dog likes all vegetables, accept lettuce.

When to Use Accept vs. Except image

When to use Except

Except usually functions as a preposition or a conjunction. As a preposition, except means “but.” As a conjunction, except is often followed by “that,” and it means “only” or “with the exception of.” In the rare cases that except functions as a verb, it means “to exclude, to object.”

All the classmates except William attended the reunion.
Will you except my gift?

How to Remember the Difference between Accept and Except

If you are a good speller, here is an easy trick to distinguish accept from except. Remember that the first two letters of except give a clue to its meaning. Except means to exclude.


I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.
Edgar Allan Poe

We accept the love we think we deserve.
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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