Dave’s WW of EU: Accept vs Except

Accept is a verb that means “agree to, believe, or receive.”

Except is a verb that means “to exclude, leave out.” Except can also be a preposition meaning “leaving out.” Examples:

  • Accept—I accepted the award on behalf of the committee.
  • Except (verb)—I answered the question wrong and was excepted from the game.
  • Except (preposition)—Except for corn, green beans, potatoes, peas, broccoli, and spinach, I’m not very fond of vegetables.

One way that I remember the difference between these terms is to think about them as positives and negatives. Accept is generally positive; except is generally negative. I also find it useful to remember that “ex” tends to be somewhat of a negative prefix.

Another useful thing that I try to remember is that except as a verb is pretty uncommon in English. Typically, you see except used in other forms such as prepositions. You also see it used in exceptional, excepting, and so on. In that sense, you could almost say that accept is a verb, except is not, but that is NOT an accurate rule. It’s just a helpful trick.

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