Accept vs. Except | Difference & Example Sentences

Accept and except are frequently confused, but they are totally different words.

  • Accept (pronounced [ak-sept]) is a transitive verb meaning to willingly receive, allow, or approve of something or someone.
  • Except (pronounced [ek-sept] is mainly used as a preposition meaning “excluding” or “apart from.”
Examples: “Accept” in a sentence Examples: “Except” in a sentence
The changes in his personality were hard to accept.

The company really wanted her to accept their job offer.

He didn’t like any of his colleagues except Mario.

The restaurant was open every day except Monday.

One way to remember the difference between the two is to bear in mind that except begins with “ex,” just like “excluding.”

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Uses of except

Except is a very commonly used word in English. You will most often see it functioning as one of three different parts of speech: a preposition, a verb, a conjunction.

Less commonly, the variant form “excepting” is used as a preposition or conjunction, but this sounds quite odd and stilted in everyday usage.

Part of speech Function Example
Preposition Used to exclude something; sometimes followed by “for” I go swimming every day except Tuesday.
Verb Meaning “to take or leave out” Dolphins were excepted from the mammal study.
Conjunction To connect opposing phrases, used instead of “only” or “but” I would have gone to the birthday party, except it’s too far from my house.
The related noun exception refers to the act of excepting or to something that is excepted (e.g., “an exception to the rule”). It’s also used in the phrase take exception, meaning to object to something (e.g., “I take exception to your tone of voice”).

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Uses of accept

Accept is always a verb, but it can have a few slightly different meanings: to receive something willingly, to allow something, to endure something, or to approve of something.

Examples: Accept in a sentence
He accepts the gift from his mentor.

Brigitte accepts the dog’s unruly behavior.

They had to accept the deplorable conditions of the duplex for the time being.

Thankfully, Jean accepted her newborn brother as a new member of the family.

The related noun acceptance refers to the act of accepting something or someone. The adjective acceptable describes something that is worthy of being accepted. And the past and present participles accepted and accepting can also be used as adjectives.

Worksheet: Except vs. accept

Test your knowledge of the difference between “accept” and “except” with these practice sentences. Fill in either “accept” or “except” in each sentence.

  1. She liked all vegetables _______________ for cucumbers.
  2. It is company policy not to _______________ any gifts from clients.
  3. Unfortunately, I can’t  ____________________ your proposal.
  4. Everyone was invited to the wedding, ____________________ Julius.
  5. I have been to all 50 states ____________________ North Dakota.
  6. You need ____________________ to the past in order to move on.
  1. She liked all vegetables except for cucumbers.
    • Since cucumbers are excluded from the vegetables she liked, use “except.”
  1. It is company policy not to accept any gifts from clients.
    • The word “gift” here is the object of the verb “accept.”
  1. Unfortunately, I can’t accept your proposal.
    • Since Adam is declining the proposal, use “accept.”
  1. Everyone was invited to the wedding except Julius.
    • Since Julius is excluded from the wedding list, use “except.”
  1. I have been to all 50 states except North Dakota.
    • Since you have been to all states other than North Dakota, use “except.”
  1. You need to accept the past in order to move on.
    • Since a verb is needed to ensure the sentence makes sense, use “accept.”

Frequently asked questions

What is a synonym for accept?

A few synonyms for accept include:

  • Assent (to)
  • Concede (to)
  • Endure
  • Have
  • Support
  • Take
  • Tolerate
  • Welcome
  • Warrant
  • Yield (to)
What is a synonym for except?

A few synonyms for except include:

  • Aside from
  • Barring
  • Besides
  • But
  • Excluding
  • Other than
  • Save
What word means to not accept?

Common antonyms of the word accept include:

  • Decline
  • Deny
  • Refuse
  • Spurn

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Tegan George

Tegan is an American based in Amsterdam, with master's degrees in political science and education administration. While she is definitely a political scientist at heart, her experience working at universities led to a passion for making social science topics more approachable and exciting to students.