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Accepted vs. Excepted

Let’s have a look at accepted vs. excepted:

  • Accept is used to show agreement or receipt of something being offered. 
  • Except is used to exclude (i.e., not offered or not included). 
  • A handy trick is to look at the “ex” in “except” to know that something is being excluded. 

Knowing how to use accept and except can be tricky, especially since both words sound incredibly similar. Are you struggling to tell the difference between the two? We’ll help you learn what each means so you can use them properly. 

Using Accept

“Accept” is a verb, which means it describes an action. To accept means that you are agreeing or receiving something that is being offered. 

CORRECT: When Sally offered to babysit on Friday night, Mr. and Mrs. Smith gladly accepted. 

INCORRECT: The kids love going to school, accept study hall. 

Using Except

“Except” is typically used in a sentence as a conjunction or a preposition. If it’s being used as a conjunction, “except” will usually come before “that,” and essentially means “only” or “with the exception of.” If it’s acting as a preposition, “except” is being used as “but.” In some cases, except might even be used as a verb, in which case it is used as “to object” or “to exclude.” 

CORRECT: Everyone except Jennifer had a great time at the party. 

INCORRECT: I hope you will except my absence from the party. 

Tricks to Remembeing Accept vs. Except 

One of the easiest ways to remember the difference between how accept and except are used is to look at the spelling. The first two letters of “except” are “ex,” which gives you a clue that except means “to exclude.” 


I love all fruit, except apples and pears. 

The concert was great, except for the opening band, which I didn’t really like. 

The dog was very well-behaved, except for jumping on guests when they arrived.


I was thrilled to accept the job offer. 

Please accept this gift as a token of my gratitude. 

Regardless of how we feel about getting older, we have to accept that aging is a natural part of life.

Examples of Accepted vs. Excepted From International Media Sources

A judge accepted Whelan’s offer to submit his passport and imposed conditions that prevented the executive from leaving the city for more than eight consecutive days without communicating his absence. – The Guardian

Cuba excepted, democracy holds sway throughout the region, though it is under threat in some places. – The Economist

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By Caitlyn Walsh

Caitlin Walsh holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her experience and passion lies in proofreading, editing, and writing a variety of content, including long-form articles, blogs, eBooks, websites, resumes, creative short stories, and more.

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