Do You Accept, or Except?

This is another set of words that I see misused often. In news media, magazines, and yes, even in print. Your editor really is your best friend!

Instead of explaining the ridiculous English rules, I try to find ways to help you, and me, remember how to use these words correctly. They are not interchangeable.

Accept means you allow something; you agree; you take it as it is.

Except means “only if”; it is a type of condition you set upon someone or something.

I accept your proposal. I cannot accept this gift.

(If you said “I cannot except this gift”, it would make no sense). 

You can either accept, or not accept, something.

I agree, except for the part where I do not get paid.

Everything looks good, except for your references.

Most of this looks good, but there is an exception. There is a part I do not agree with.

Accept means to agree (mostly), and except means you agree, but for one part.

Unfortunately, they both seem to be interchangeable. The best way I remember is accept means yes, and except means no. It will not work in every situation, but it will work in most.

4 thoughts on “Do You Accept, or Except?

    • Angela August 31, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      Thanks so much!

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