Accept vs Except — Learning the Correct Spelling

The difference between accept and except is a hard one to remember, but one worth remembering. When to use accept and when to use except is a question that deserves careful consideration.

How Do you Spell Except?

We spell ‘except’ as e-x-c-e-p-t. It is made up of 2 syllables and pronounced traditionally as: “ik” + “SPEKT”

One of the best methods for spelling “exactly” is to break it down as follows: 

  • Start by spelling Ex (Like your ex. Everyone should get this!)
  • Add “c” to your ex (that’s because we are not here to talk about all your exs)
  • It becomes exc. Then add -ept” to it.

The difficult part was the ‘s’. Now you know how to spell expect right!

Another approach is to focus on the word’s center. So, you know ex, and then we have peck, only that you have to replace ‘k’ with ‘t’.

Keeping these in mind will help you spell ‘expect’ with ease.

Photo by Clarissa Watson on Unsplash

When to Use Except?

Except is a verb in and of itself. It means “to omit or eliminate (someone or something) from consideration.” The ex- of ‘except’ should serve as a reminder that the word means excluding.

Except is typically utilized as a preposition. In this context, it might signify “not including,” “other than,” or “but,”.

Examples Include:

  • “The theater is open every day except Sundays”
  • “All images were enhanced except two.”

Except is frequently followed by for, as in:

  • Except for that one question, others were really easy.

Except can also serve as a conjunction that’s similar to unless, but, and only.

Examples include

  • “Students are not permitted to leave except (Unless) in an emergency”
  • “He does nothing except (but)complain”
  • “We’d go, except (only) that we already have plans”.

To Wrap Up

Accept and except are homophones (they are pronounced the same). However, there are slight spelling differences between the two words that determine their different functions.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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