The professor announced, ‘We will not accept any late submissions except for individuals facing genuine health problems.’

Accept and except are two words of the English vocabulary that have completely distinguished meanings and normally people don’t mistake them for one another unless misspelled. Using them while speaking can be tricky if you’re a new English learner because they are both homophones; which means they sound completely alike. Accept is the verb and in most cases except is the preposition. We will help you distinguish these two words correctly in this article so that you can use them easily while conversing or writing.

Accept vs except – definitions and meanings

Definition of accept

Accept is a verb and to accept means to receive or admit something. The thing in question can be tangible (like gift, letter, coffee etc.) or intangible (like idea, offer, feelings etc.). Check out the examples provided below.

Example sentences of accept

  • She wanted to accept his apology but her broken heart wasn’t allowing her to do so.

In this sentence the woman is trying to accept the apology of a man, and even though she is trying she cannot bring herself to because she has a broken heart and shattered feelings to deal with.

  • She accepted coffee from her colleague and began to discuss the upcoming project.

Perhaps the setting is in an office canteen; a woman received the coffee from her co-worker and then started to talk about their next venture.

  • I wanted to accept his offer to join the company.

This sentence talks about a person who really wanted to obtain the job offered to him to join a company.

Definition of except

The word except is a preposition which means excluding or other than. Rarely, it can also function as a conjunction which means ‘only’ which is used in a more conversational tone and is followed by the word ‘that’. In even rarer cases, except can be used as a verb which means to ‘to disagree or object’ or ‘to exclude.’

Example sentences of except

  • Except as a preposition:
    All of the children aced the exam except Jacob who failed miserably.

This sentence talks about the exam results of a batch of students. All the children passed with flying grades besides Jacob who failed with a really bad grade.

  • Except as conjunction:
    Trust me, I really want to learn except that there’s no one who would really teach me.

Observe that except is followed by ‘that’ and it is in a conversational tone. In this sentence a boy is talking to someone casually, saying that he would have loved to learn but the only problem is that there is no one willing to teach him.

  • Except as verb:
    I must except to your comment that there are no great artists living today.

In this sentence the man is saying that he must disagree or object to the remark that there are no great artists living today because there are indeed artists who are well and alive and very much capable of creating masterpieces.

Remember accept is always used as a verb but except is used as more than one parts of speech – preposition, conjunction and verb. If you want to recheck your usage of except (when used as a preposition) you can replace the word with ‘but not’ and see if it sounds alright. If it does than you’ve successfully mastered its correct usage.