Hi, all.

I'd like to ask you about pronunciation of these two words: accept and except. For me, it looks like they sound the same, and the worst of all, they are like antonyms. It would be very interesting for me to know how you pronounce these words.

P.S. By the way, on Merriam-Webster website, they utter both of them in the same way - \ik-'sept\.
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I think there is a difference of stress. You stress the second syllable when you pronunce except but you stress the first syllable when you pronunce accept.
Strangely enough these two words are pronounced exactly the same. You can hear announcer from Merriam-Webster website utter them in the same way. Here are the links:


Maybe native speakers can shed some light on that.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
From the book - "Good word. Guide"
The two words are similar but not identical in pronunciation: accept is pronouced [áksept] and except is pronounced [iksept].

Hope this helps : )
I think there's a difference between how BrE speakers and AmE ones pronounce these words. In British English they pronounce it like you just wrote, but when I hear an AmE speaker utter accept and except, it sounds to me equally. Although I may be wrong.
I would say ACCEPT starts with a reduced vowel that is lower (on the IPA chart) than the vowel in EXCEPT.
But the truth is that there is such a little difference that in practice even if some people think they pronounce them differently (difference in production), the result is pretty much the same (no difference in perception).

So don't worry about that Emotion: wink

PS: Remember I'm not a native speaker.
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The online version of Webster's Dictionary lists several variations for the pronunciation of accept:
\ik-ˈsept, ak- also ek-\

I would agree that except and accept are usually pronounced the same in AmE. This facts also leads to spelling errors.

I found this in Hutchinson Dictionaries (online):
accept or except
to accept something or someone is to take them: Credit cards are accepted (you can use them to pay);
to except them is to exclude them: Credit cards are excepted (you'll have to pay by cash or cheque).

This leads me to believe that many Brits must pronounce those two words the same too. Perhaps some of our British members will weigh in on this. Emotion: wink

Hi Amy, Kooyeen

Amy, that was a great example with credit cards. I think If I were told one of these sentences, I wouldn't be sure whether I have to use my credit card or pay by cash.Emotion: smile I hope when it comes to choosing between them I'll make the right choice.Emotion: smile
I would say ACCEPT starts with a reduced vowel that is lower (on the IPA chart) than the vowel in EXCEPT.
I would say that, too. And, Amy's example notwithstanding, except is so seldom used as a verb that I don't think there's much difficulty disambiguating the two in most contexts.

I mean, who says, "Please except my application for the job" or "Everyone liked the movie accept me"? Emotion: smile

Note also that, even though both words have the stress on the final syllable, in connected speech the verbs will get more stress than the prepositions. So cept is more strongly stressed in "Please accept my application" than in "except me". Note the bold font below, which shows the stresses, comparing the two cepts.

No one will accept it except me.

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