except


except
accept, except
There is little danger of confusion in spoken contexts, since all they have in common is their similar pronunciation in running discourse, but their spelling is open to confusion. David Crystal reports in his book Who Cares About English Usage? (1984) that several of 20 English undergraduates asked to choose between Shall we accept / except his invitation to dinner chose except.
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except
1. Use as a conjunction is now archaic, as in the famous passage in Psalms (AV, 127:1): Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vaine that build it (in more modern translations this is rendered Unless the Lord builds the house…).
2. Except should not normally be used by itself to mean ‘except that’ or ‘but’, although this is common informally and in conversation:

• The day he turned 18, Trojan moved into his own council flat in Caledonian Road. Except he didn't like it —The Face, 1987.

3. Except for, as in They all came except for James, is also somewhat informal, and is best avoided when except alone will do: They all came except James. At the beginning of a sentence, however, except for is needed: Except for James, everyone brought a gift with them.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Except — Ex*cept , prep. [Originally past participle, or verb in the imperative mode.] With exclusion of; leaving or left out; excepting. [1913 Webster] God and his Son except, Created thing naught valued he nor . . . shunned. Milton. Syn: {Except},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • except — [ek sept′, iksept′] vt. [ME excepten < OFr excepter < L exceptare, to take out, except < exceptus, pp. of excipere < ex , out + capere, to take: see HAVE] to leave out or take out; make an exception of; exclude; omit vi. Now Rare to… …   English World dictionary

  • except — Ⅰ. except UK US /ɪkˈsept/ preposition (also except for) ► used to mean not including or but not : »Our offices are open Monday through Friday except on national holidays. » All money transfers, except for those between members of the same branch …   Financial and business terms

  • Except — Ex*cept , v. i. To take exception; to object; usually followed by to, sometimes by against; as, to except to a witness or his testimony. [1913 Webster] Except thou wilt except against my love. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Except — Ex*cept ([e^]k*s[e^]pt ), conj. Unless; if it be not so that. [1913 Webster] And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. Gen. xxxii. 26. [1913 Webster] But yesterday you never opened lip, Except, indeed, to drink. Tennyson. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • except — ex·cept /ik sept/ vt: to take or leave out (as from insurance coverage or a deed): exclude specifically except ed the air carriers and unions from the provisions M. A. Kelly vi: object; esp: to fi …   Law dictionary

  • Except — Ex*cept , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Excepted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Excepting}.] [L. exceptus, p. p. of excipere to take or draw out, to except; ex out + capere to take: cf. F. excepter. See {Capable}.] 1. To take or leave out (anything) from a number or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • except — [prep] other than apart from, aside from, bar, barring, besides, but, excepting, excluding, exclusive of, exempting, if not, lacking, leaving out, minus, not for, omitting, outside of, rejecting, save, saving, short of, without, with the… …   New thesaurus

  • except — late 14c., to receive, from M.Fr. excepter (12c.), from L. exceptus, pp. of excipere take out, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + capere to take (see CAPABLE (Cf. capable)). Meaning to leave out is from 1510s. Related …   Etymology dictionary

  • except — ► PREPOSITION ▪ not including; other than. ► CONJUNCTION ▪ used before a statement that forms an exception to one just made. ► VERB ▪ exclude: present company excepted. ORIGIN from Latin excipere take out …   English terms dictionary

  • except — ex|cept1 W2S2 [ıkˈsept] conj, prep 1.) used to introduce the only person, thing, action, fact, or situation about which a statement is not true ▪ The office is open every day except Sundays. ▪ You can have any of the cakes except this one. except …   Dictionary of contemporary English