Make Your Editor Cry: Accept vs. Except

Make Your Editor Cry:  Accept vs. Except

Even though except and accept sound similar they mean very different things.

Accept is a verb that means to believe in, or to agree, or to receive something offered.

Examples:

Incorrect:

The dog likes all vegetables accept for lettuce.

Correct:

When Boris asked Natasha to accept his marriage proposal, she happily accepted.

In contrast, except means unless or excluding, or with the exception of. Except usually functions as a preposition or a conjunction.

As a preposition, except means “but” or “however.” As a conjunction, except is often followed by “that,” and means “only” or “with the exception of.” In the rare cases where except functions as a verb, it means “to exclude, to object.”

Examples:

Incorrect:

Will you except my gift?

All the classmates accept William attended the reunion.

I would believe your story accept that I know you're lying.

We can accept that video from evidence.

If you offer me chocolates I will gladly except them—accept for the brandy filled ones.

Correct:

Will you accept my gift?

All the classmates except William attended the reunion.

I would believe your story except that I know you're lying.

We can except that video from evidence.

If you offer me chocolates I will gladly accept them—except for the brandy filled ones.

Tip: The “ex” of except can help you to remember that it means excluding.

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