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Accept vs Except


  • ‘Accept’ (verb) means ‘consent to something, or believe it to be true, fair or valid’.
  • ‘Except’ (preposition/conjunction) means ‘not including; leaving out someone or something’.

What’s the difference between ‘accept’ and ‘except’?

Although they look and sound similar, these two words mean very different things. And since one is a verb (‘accept’) and the other a preposition or conjunction (‘except’), they occur in very different patterns and phrases.

  • Most frequently in academic texts, ‘except’ is used as a preposition meaning ‘excluding’. As a conjunction, it is often followed by ‘that’ and can be replaced by ‘however’.
  • A tip to remember the meaning of ‘except’ is that the Latin prefix ‘ex’ means ‘out of’.

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How they’re used

Example sentences with ‘accept’

  • This suggests a willingness to accept climate change strategies.
  • Employers were made to accept social reforms.

Example sentences with ‘except’

  • CD46 is a cellular receptor for all adenoviruses except types 3 and 7.
  • We present an overview of Nordic countries, except Iceland.