Los Angeles   |   Boston   |   Santa Barbara
ELC Logo White
Los Angeles   |   Boston   |   Santa Barbara
ELC Logo White
  • My ELCMy ELC Page Icon
  • Agent's Page Icon iconAgents


ELC Boston ELC Los Angeles ELC Santa Barbara
ELC - English Language Center Santa Barbara
English Grammar Lesson – Except vs. Accept November 9th, 2018

Except vs. Accept. Which one you should use and why.

The English language is full of words that sound the same but mean completely different things. This can make learning English a little tricky, especially with words like except and accept. Luckily, there are some easy to remember rules that can help you determine whether or not it is correct to use the word accept or the word except.


Accept means to receive something or to believe something to be true. Below are some examples of ways you can use the word accept in a sentence.

  1. Sydney accepted the present from her sister.
    (In this sentence, Sydney is receiving something from her sister which is why the word accepted is used)
  2. Karla needs to accept the idea that she and Brad are not together anymore.
    (We use accept in this sentence because Karla needs to believe an idea to be true)
  3. You need to accept responsibility for your actions.
    (Accept is used in this sentence because the subject needs to receive or take on responsibility)


Except means unless or to exclude. However, it can also be used as a verb meaning to leave out. Below are some ways that except can be used in a sentence.

  1. Everything was great, except for the meatballs.
    (We use except in this sentence because everything was great excluding the meatballs)
  2. Everyone is going to have lunch except for Eunice.
    (Except is used in this sentence because everyone is having lunch but Eunice is excluded)
  3. I have something to do everyday this week except for Friday.
    (We use except in this sentence because the subject is busy everyday excluding Friday)

Even though except and accept sound similar they mean very different things. Accept means to believe in or receive, while except means unless or exclude. If you want an even easier way to remember this then think about accept and except in positive and negative terms. Accept in usually used in positive terms like accepting an idea while except is usually used more negatively like leaving something or someone out.

If you remember these simple rules then you will have no problem remembering the difference between accept and except.


If only little brothers were an accepted standard currency.