Accept vs Except | Meaning, Examples & Worksheet

Commonly Confused Words updated on  January 9, 2024 2 min read
Accept and except are two words that sound similar, but they have different meanings.

  • Accept (pronounced [ak-sept]) means “approve or allow something” or “willingly receive.” It’s used as a transitive verb
  • Except (pronounced [ek-sept]) means “other than” or “not including” and is most often used as a preposition. It can also be used as a conjunction or verb.
You can remember that “except” means “excluding” with the mnemonic “they both start with ‘ex.’”

Examples: Accept in a sentence

Examples: Except in a sentence

I’m happy to accept the job offer.

I like all fruits except bananas.

Sandra did not accept John’s apology.

I would have gone to the park, except it started raining heavily.

Our company accepts and embraces diversity in the workplace.

He excepted his dad’s watch from the list of things to be sold at the auction

The QuillBot Grammar Checker will fix your spelling and grammar mistakes automatically.

When to use except

Except is often used as one of three parts of speech, namely a verb, a conjunction, or a preposition. Related variant forms are used as a conjunction, proposition, or noun.

  • The less common variant form excepting is used as a conjunction or preposition, but the use is perceived as formal and odd in conversational language.
  • The noun exception refers to something or someone who is excepted (i.e., excluded from a rule or general statement) or to the act of excepting itself. It can also be used in the formal phrase “take exception” (e.g., “Sarah took exception to the disrespectful comment during her speech”)

Part of speech

Use

Example

Preposition

Meaning “not included”

All students passed the exam except for John.

Verb

Exclude something

The chef excepted ingredients from the recipe to accommodate dietary restrictions.

Conjunction

To connect opposing phrases (instead of “but” or “only”)

He studied diligently, except when his favorite TV show was on.

When to use accept

Accept is always used as a verb, but it can have slightly different meanings:

  • To approve of something
  • To allow something
  • To tolerate or endure something
  • To willingly receive something
The related variant forms, “acceptance,” “acceptable,” “accepted,” and “accepting” can be used as different parts of speech:

  • The noun acceptance refers to the act of accepting someone or something.
  • The adjective acceptable describes something that’s suitable, tolerable, or satisfactory.
  • The past participle accepted and the present participle accepting can be used as verbs or participial adjectives.

Meaning

Example

To approve of something

The committee decided to accept the proposed changes to the project.

To allow something

The school’s policy does not accept late submissions for assignments.

To endure something

She had to accept the scorching heat during the summer months while working in the desert.

To receive something voluntarily

The charity gladly accepts donations from generous individuals who want to support their cause.

Do you want to know more about commas, parts of speech, email, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


US vs UK

Parts of speech

Rhetoric

Gray vs grey

Action verbs

Metaphor

Judgment or judgement

Stative verbs

Simile

Favour or favor

Transitive verbs

Alliteration

Fulfil or fulfill

Verbs

Assonance

Labor or labour

Nouns

Malapropism


Frequently asked questions about accept vs except

What is a synonym for except?

Synonyms for the preposition (common), conjunction (uncommon), or verb (uncommon) except include:

  • Besides
  • But
  • Excluding
  • Other than
  • Aside from
  • Barring

You can find more synonyms with the QuillBot Paraphraser!

What is a synonym for accept?

Synonyms for accept (verb) include:

  • Endure
  • Support
  • Tolerate
  • Welcome (voluntarily)
  • Warrant
  • Yield to
  • Concede to

You can find more synonyms with the QuillBot Paraphraser!

What is an antonym for accept?

Antonyms of the word accept are:

  • Decline
  • Refuse
  • Deny

In these cases, someone will not accept something. For example, “Erin declined her boyfriend’s marriage proposal.”

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Julia Merkus

Julia has master's degrees in Linguistics and Language and speech pathology. Her expertise lies in grammar, language and speech disorders, foreign language learning, and child language acquisition.

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