Ask a question

can someone explain how to remember the difference between accept and except?

i can mix these up sometimes

19 Answers by Expert Tutors

Tutors, sign in to answer this question.
Breanna K. | English/Grammar/Public Speaking/Writing TutorEnglish/Grammar/Public Speaking/Writing ...
4.9 4.9 (26 lesson ratings) (26)

To accept something is to take if for how it is. Except means there is some sort of a difference.


Even though you're a bad cook and you don't do dishes, I accept you the way you are.

This sweater would be perfect except is isn't the right size.

Janice D. | A pro to help you polish your writing, language, study skills A pro to help you polish your writing, l...
5.0 5.0 (7 lesson ratings) (7)

"Accept" is a verb, and "except" is a preposition. Here's how you can remember this:

"I accept everyone except ______ (fill in the blank with the most obnoxious example you can think of).


Scott S. | Published Author, Speaker, Professional, Caring, Reliable, ExperiencedPublished Author, Speaker, Professional,...

The way I always remembered was that except had the "X" in it and that is the universal symbol for NO!  If something is accepting, you will not see an "X" around it.  If something is excepting, you will see an "X" over it.


Hopefully this works for you.

Vicki N. | Top International Teacher, English Foreign Language Certified (TEFL)Top International Teacher, English Forei...
5.0 5.0 (104 lesson ratings) (104)

Accept and except are opposites which could be remembered best by thinking of them like this: A for Accept: meaning Allow E for Except: meaning Exclude Examples of usage: I accept the $100 dollars and will deposit it into my bank account. I will deposit the money I received except for the $100 counterfeit bill! In the first sentence you "allow" the $100 to be deposited in the bank. In the second sentence you "exclude" the $100 from the bank deposit. I hope this is helpful to you!

Alfred W. S. | Master the Language Arts!Master the Language Arts!
4.0 4.0 (3 lesson ratings) (3)

Accept means to include, except means to exclude. I accept everyone, except those I don't. 

Jennifer L. | You've Got This! - Tutoring and Confidence BoostingYou've Got This! - Tutoring and Confiden...

Accept begins the same way as access. To access something is to gain admission, or to be permitted to handle it. To ACCEss something you must be ACCEpted. Or, by ACCEpthing something you are being given ACCEss to it.

Except is like exception. An exception to the rule is when things stand outside of conventional boundaries.

Faris A. | Qualified, effective, and enthusiastic English tutor Qualified, effective, and enthusiastic E...
4.7 4.7 (3 lesson ratings) (3)

Hi! I always think of it as "A for action". "Accept" is a verb, so if the intent is to describe an action, always opt for ACCEPT!

Emily G. | Tutor/Teacher in English Studies, Ancient Greek, Latin, and JapaneseTutor/Teacher in English Studies, Ancien...
4.8 4.8 (26 lesson ratings) (26)
I always remember it by remembering that "except" is related to the word "exception". "Except" meaning to leave something out can be made into a new word by adding -ion, but "accept" meaning to take something willingly cannot. So if you can add -ion to the end of the word, it does NOT mean to take something willingly.
Sally E. | Certified Dual Ivy Latin/Greek tutorCertified Dual Ivy Latin/Greek tutor
5.0 5.0 (27 lesson ratings) (27)
They start with opposite prepositional prefixes on the same stem, which is where the difficulty emerges.  "Accept" starts with the prefix that comes from Latin ad ("towards").  You see this in English in words like "advance", "admit", "advantage", etc.  The only reason it isn't spelled adcept is that it would be hard to say.
"Except", on the other hand, starts with the prefix ex (Latin "out of").  So compare English words like "exit", "extend", "exception", etc.
So "accept" has the idea of "towards" in it, because the thing you're accepting is coming towards you, while "except" has the idea of "away from", since the thing you are excepting/making an exception to is separated "out from" the rest of the group.
Tenisha S. | Bilingual Tutor!!Bilingual Tutor!!

To accept something is to take it. Accept is a verb.

    i.e: She accepted the gift from her grandmother.

Except is a preposition that means to exclude.

    i.e: I like every sport except golf.

Rachel Kay K. | Creative Teaching Techniques for Students Who Learn DifferentlyCreative Teaching Techniques for Student...
4.9 4.9 (34 lesson ratings) (34)

Accept All

Except EviL.

The "ex" root also means "not", and "except" means everything, but NOT the "exception".

Suzanne M. | English Tutor: Literature, Reading, Grammar, Writing, VocabularyEnglish Tutor: Literature, Reading, Gram...
4.0 4.0 (2 lesson ratings) (2)

Here is an easy way to remember the difference between "ACCEPT" and "EXCEPT"...  It may be silly, but it works:  On the TV show, "Friends", the first time Ross and Rachel break up, Ross is pleading his case as to why they should get back together, and Rachel tells him that they are not going to get back together and that Ross needs to "ACCEPT" that....  And he asks, "'EXCEPT' that what?".  So Rachel answers, "No, ACCEPT THAT!"  Technically, "Accept" is a verb, while "Except" can be either a preposition or a conjunction, but I think the example makes more sense than the Part of Speech explanation. Good Luck!

Grace and Peace,

Suzanne Miller

James M. | Tutor: English, French, German, American Sign LanguageTutor: English, French, German, American...

Read through all of these posts aloud and add emphasis to the /ae/ sound in accept (think 'cat') and the /eh/ sound in except (think 'egg'). By the time you're done, it should be drilled in your head.

Then say "I /ae/ccept this /ae/cceptable /ae/cceptance", followed by "/eh/xcept for the /eh/xceptional /eh/xception".

If you're still confused, do it one more time without saying the aforementioned phrase.

Bethany K. | French in Real Life Tutor - Conversation, TPR, and MoreFrench in Real Life Tutor - Conversation...
5.0 5.0 (66 lesson ratings) (66)

I'm on board with the other answers using the X example, but with a little twist:

Accept starts with A, so you're Adding. In order to (a)ccept something, you have to (a)dd to whatever's there already.

Except starts with Ex, so you're X-ing it out, EXcluding it, or taking it away. 

If you're EXcepting, you're not Accepting

                                 ≠              +


Visuals always seem to help me. Hopefully that works for you too! :)

Dorota G. | Fordham University ESL teacher using technology and old schoolFordham University ESL teacher using tec...
5.0 5.0 (10 lesson ratings) (10)

At the risk of sounding trivial, I will say that "accept" should be associated with "acceptance" or "accepting", while "except" has to do with an "exception".

Margie H. | Rounded Educ - MS in Psych by Sept.; study/tests/english/aspergerRounded Educ - MS in Psych by Sept.; stu...

When determining if except or accept is correct, remember accept is/can be defined by words starting with a: agree, accommodate, answer, approval, acknowledge (to receive)... and except is defined by words starting with e: exclude, eliminate, exempt, exonerate (to take away; however). If you can remember A-a and/or E-e, only knowing one is necessary since they are antonyms, then you will know which word is correct. Hope that helps.

Matthew W. | PsyWriter: Letting Creative Composition Coincide with PsychologyPsyWriter: Letting Creative Composition ...


I'll accept answering this question, except I cannot express it any other way.

Please accept this answer, providing you except my strange way of presenting it.

Except refers to an EXCEPTION from some thing or idea/concept.

Accept refers to ACCEPTANCE of some thing or idea/concept.

Tony B. | Math/Science PlusMath/Science Plus

I found this on and thought it was very clever:

by Elle Member since:July 07, 2008Total points:15,102 (Level 6)

Add ContactBlock

Best answer 32%2546 answers

Member Since:July 07, 2008Total Points:15,102 (Level 6)Points earned this week:0

Add ContactBlock

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

Accept has an A because students who get A's get Accepted to college!!! And except begins with e-x because everyone except your ex will be partying with you!!! ^^


4 years agoReport Abuse

4 people rated this as good

Asker's Rating:Asker's Comment:exactly what i wanted, thanks!

Shebli G. | doing this for fundoing this for fun

This had been always an issue for me, and I am not a native english speaker. however, here is a way I use

Except start with EX like exclude and they atre similar in the meaning some how