Difference Between Accept and Except

What is Accept?

The word ‘accept’ has originated from the Latin word ad-capere. ‘Ad’ means to and ‘capere’ means take, literally translating to ‘to take’. Like any other word in the English language, this too went through various transformations from ‘accipere’ to ‘acceptare’ and finally to accept.

Accept is always used as a verb. It can be interpreted in two ways. One is to consent to something like an opinion or a suggestion. The other is to obtain something like a gift or an offering.

The usage of this word can be confusing. “My boss accepted my business pitch”. This is an example of ‘accept’ as in the first definition. Any kind of consent can be referred to as ‘accepted’. On the other hand, “She accepted the gift”, is an example of the second definition.

Accept is spelled as ‘UH-ks-Ept’ in the standard form. Although, different accents may have different phonetics. This word is used mostly in a formal tone. Synonyms that can be used more informally are ‘take’, ‘get’, ‘gain’, etc.

What is Except?

The word except has intensive use in the English language. Many have trouble differentiating it with the word accept. Some also use the two terms synonymously.

Except has originated from the Latin word ‘ex-capere.’ Ex means out, and capere means to take. It translates to take out. The other form of the term used in late English is excipere.

It has a dual meaning. One is to exclude something. The other is to make an exception for someone or something. The word has been in use as a preposition and a conjunction. The former meaning indicates the word as a preposition, while the latter definition is an example of the word as a conjunction.

“Everyone knows about it except her.” Here it is used as a preposition. It is a simple sentence. On the other hand, “I would go to your house, except I don’t know where it is.” is used as a conjunction. It is, however, a complex sentence.

The phonetic spelling of except is ik-SEPT. It is a two-syllable word with emphasis on the second syllable. It is used mostly in an informal sense. Other words that can be used in place of except are disbar, other than, besides, etc.

Difference Between Accept and Except

  1. While Accept means to agree to something, Except denotes excluding something.
  2. Accept can also be interpreted as ‘to receive something’ and Except can also mean ‘to make an exception.’
  3. Accept has originated from the Latin word Accipere meaning ‘to take in.’ Whereas Except has also originated from a Latin word Excipere meaning ‘to take out.’ Their origin words can be considered as opposites.
  4. Accept is a verb, whereas Except is used both as a preposition and a conjunction.
  5. They vary slightly in their phonetics. The phonetics spelling of Accept is ‘UH-ks-Ept’ and that of Except is ‘ik-SEPT’. The basic difference lies within their first syllables.

Comparison Between Accept and Except

Parameters of ComparisonAcceptExcept
MeaningIt means to agree to something.It means to rule out something.
Alternate meaningIt also means to acquire something.It also means to make an exception for something.
TypeThe word accept is used as a verb.The word except is used as both a preposition and a conjunction.
Phonetic spellingIt is pronounced as ‘UH-ks-Ept’.It is pronounced as ‘ik-SEPT’.
OriginIt has originated from the Latin word ‘accipere’ which means ‘to take in.’It has originated from the Latin word ‘excipere’ which means ‘to take out.’


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/BF03197027
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0010027720302687