Accept vs. Except

 

Accept and except are a study in opposites, like war and peace, chocolate and vanilla, or Fifty Shades of Grey and "well-written."

Accept is a verb that means to receive, agree with, or be okay with something.

Except is a preposition that excludes things. Its meaning is similar to but or other than.

Examples

"I can accept that you want to get married at a Star Wars convention, but I refuse to let a Chewbacca impersonator officiate the ceremony."

What's Wookie for "You may kiss the bride"? Accept is the right call here because it means that the speaker is cool with the Star Wars wedding… like any sane person would be.

The judge refused to accept all of the evidence in the murder trial except the wine glass with the lipstick on the rim.

We love a good old-fashioned murder mystery. We also love how this sentence uses accept and except correctly. Here, accept is correct because it means to receive, and except is correct because it excludes the glass. In other words, the judge refused everything but the incriminating glass.

I don't know anybody that actually reads all of the terms and conditions before clicking "accept" except for my Uncle Walter.

Neither do we. Here, accept is used properly because it means to agree with, and except is used correctly because it means the same as other than, as in other than Uncle Walter, nobody reads that stuff.

 

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