Difference Between Accept and Except

Accept means to agree or accept something offered. While except means to exclude something. The ex-  except is to help you remember that it means to exclude. Remember that the first two letters besides give a clue to its meaning.

These words may sound the same but have different meanings. They are part of the homophone family.

Accept is a verb. Except is most used as a preposition and is also used as a conjunction.

The most common mistake people make is pronouncing them the same. You will find that instead of saying “except” people pronounce “accept” which is the real reason, they confuse it with “accept” .

Accept vs Except

Comparison Chart

Parameter of ComparisonAcceptExcept
Part of SpeechVerbPreposition or Conjunction
MeaningTo willingly receive, agree to, or approve of somethingTo exclude something
Example SentenceShe accepted the award.We went hiking except for Michael.
Memory TipThink “acept what is presentedThink “exclude” – it starts with “ex” just like “exclude”

What Does Accept Mean?

The word accept is a verb and its meaning is “to accept something willingly”. Accept is the one that is less likely to cause trouble. It is a singular part of speech.

There are different meanings if you receive according to its usage, but the general concept is to receive.

Below are the dictionary definitions of the verbs:

1. To accept something willingly

2. Give consent

3. Undertake without protest

4. Know the truth

There is little difference between the definitions, but they share a common theme.

Acceptance in Relationships

In interpersonal relationships, acceptance plays a pivotal role in fostering understanding and connection. It involves recognizing and embracing the unique qualities, opinions, and perspectives of others. This form of acceptance contributes to the development of healthy relationships by creating an environment of mutual respect and appreciation. In essence, accepting someone means valuing them for who they are without trying to change them.

Emotional Acceptance

Emotional acceptance is a significant component within relationships. It involves acknowledging and validating the emotions of oneself and others. When individuals accept their own emotions, they can navigate through challenges with a greater sense of self-awareness. Similarly, accepting the emotions of others fosters empathy and contributes to a supportive emotional environment.

Acceptance in Agreements and Contracts

Acceptance holds a crucial place in legal and business contexts, particularly in agreements and contracts. In this context, acceptance refers to the formal and voluntary agreement to the terms and conditions outlined in a contract. It is a binding commitment, signifying the willingness of parties to be bound by the terms specified. Acceptance, in this sense, establishes the foundation for legal relationships and obligations.

Contractual Acceptance

Contractual acceptance follows a specific process, such as an offer and acceptance model. The party making the offer presents terms, and the other party, by accepting these terms, manifests their agreement. This acceptance can be explicit, through a written or verbal statement, or implicit, through conduct indicating compliance with the terms.

Personal Growth and Self-Acceptance

Acceptance is a transformative force in personal development. Self-acceptance, in particular, involves embracing one’s strengths and weaknesses, acknowledging imperfections, and fostering a positive self-image. This aspect is integral to mental and emotional well-being, as it allows individuals to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and a sense of inner peace.

Overcoming Challenges

Accepting challenges and setbacks is an essential part of personal growth. When individuals accept the reality of difficult situations, they can better strategize and cope with adversity. This form of acceptance empowers individuals to focus on solutions and opportunities for improvement rather than dwelling on setbacks.

What is Accept

Examples of Using Accept

  1. She decided to accept the job offer after careful consideration.
    • In this case, “accept” indicates the act of agreeing to take on a job position.
  2. The school gladly accepted the generous donation for its new library.
    • Here, “accept” refers to receiving or acknowledging a donation in a positive manner.
  3. He couldn’t help but accept the apology, understanding that mistakes happen.
    • This usage of “accept” conveys the act of acknowledging and forgiving an apology.
  4. The team captain graciously accepted the championship trophy on behalf of the entire squad.
    • In this context, “accept” implies receiving an award or recognition with gratitude.
  5. The professor asked the students to accept the challenge of thinking critically about the assigned topic.
    • “Accept” is used to suggest taking on a mental or intellectual challenge.

What Does Except Mean?

The word except is a preposition, a conjunction, and less likely to be a verb. The meaning of except is ‘not including’. In addition, the most used is the clutch.

The except function is like ‘The restaurant will be open except Friday’. And it’s followed by things like, “Except for this type of material.” Sometimes it can be used as a verb on its own, as in “Studies are expected”.

When you think of that word, except what came up is ‘ex’. “Ex” means something that is excluded from your life.

The definition of an exception and its application depends on the concept of exclusion.

  • As a preposition

As a preposition, except means “not included” or “other than.” Below are examples:

• I go for a walk every day except Sunday.

• They didn’t tell anyone except their family.

  • As Conjunction

The conjunction except means “one and only” or “except”. Below are examples:

• She has the same dress as me, except it’s red.

• He doesn’t enjoy the snow unless he wants to ski.

  • As a verb

As a verb, except is used least often. But it’s not entirely unusual.

• They excepted their older friends from the guest list.

What is Except

Examples of Using Except

  1. Everyone attended the meeting except Sarah, who was unfortunately unwell.
    • Here, “except” is used to indicate exclusion, highlighting that Sarah was the only one not present.
  2. All the cookies were delicious except the one with the unexpected spice.
    • In this case, “except” is used to specify an exception to the overall positive experience.
  3. The museum is open every day except Mondays.
    • “Except” is employed here to convey the specific day that deviates from the regular schedule.
  4. She liked all genres of music except country, which never quite appealed to her.
    • This instance of “except” expresses a specific exclusion within a broader category.
  5. Everyone passed the test except for James, who found it particularly challenging.
    • In this context, “except” is used to single out an individual who did not meet the specified condition.

Difference Between Accept and Except

  • Meaning and Usage:
    • Accept: This word is used when someone agrees to receive or take something. It indicates a positive response or approval.
      • Example: “I gladly accept your invitation to the party.”
    • Except: On the other hand, “except” is used to exclude or leave out something. It implies exclusion from a general statement.
      • Example: “I like all fruits except bananas.”
  • Function in Sentences:
    • Accept: It functions as a verb in sentences, showcasing an action of receiving or agreeing.
      • Example: “She decided to accept the job offer.”
    • Except: This word can function as a preposition, conjunction, or verb, depending on its role in the sentence.
      • Example (preposition): “Everyone attended the meeting except John.”
      • Example (conjunction): “I like all sports except football.”
      • Example (verb): “We will have a picnic, except if it rains.”
  • Negation and Exclusion:
    • Accept: It does not involve negation but rather denotes a positive response or agreement to something.
    • Except: Primarily used for exclusion, indicating everything or everyone else but the specified item or person.
      • Example: “All students passed the exam except Mary.”
  • Etymology:
    • Accept: Derived from the Latin word “acceptare,” meaning to receive willingly.
    • Except: Comes from the Latin word “exceptio,” indicating an objection or exclusion.
  • Common Phrases:
    • Accept: “Accept the challenge,” “Accept the truth.”
    • Except: “All of them except one,” “Except for Mondays, I enjoy my job.”
  • Usage in Formal and Informal Contexts:
    • Accept: Commonly used in both formal and informal situations.
      • Example (Formal): “The company is pleased to accept your proposal.”
      • Example (Informal): “I accept your apology.”
    • Except: Also used in both formal and informal contexts.
      • Example (Formal): “All members attended the meeting except for Mr. Smith.”
      • Example (Informal): “I like all genres of music except country.”
  • Synonyms:
    • Accept: Embrace, receive, agree to.
    • Except: Exclude, omit, leave out.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2117981
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1524-4733.2008.00340.x