Episode Transcript

Hello everyone. It’s Hadar, and this is the Accent’s Way, your way to finding clarity, confidence and freedom in English.

Today, I wanna talk about the three words: except, accept, and expect. I know it may be complicated at first but bear with me, I’ll get you there.

Let’s begin with the two words: except and accept. As you can hear, these are pretty similar. That’s because the ending is absolutely the same, “-sept”. That’s also the primary stress of the word.

So, the difference is in the beginning. In the word except, you begin with an “i” as in sit vowel sound, “i” and then you move to a “k” sound – “ik”, “ik”, the second syllable “sept” an “s” sound, “e” and a “p” and a “t”, “sept”, “sept”.

In the word “accept” you start with the “a” as in cat: open mouth, pull your lips to the sides a bit, push your tongue forward – “a”, and then again a “k” sound.

accept, except, accept, “ik” – “ak”, “ik” – “ak”. Pretty different, right?

However, and there is always a however hiding there somewhere, when you speak really quickly the beginning of the two words may reduce to a “schwa” and both words may sound the same: ‘eksept’ and ‘eksept’, all right?

Different meanings, you hear it in the context, but the pronunciation may be the same, except.

To our purposes let’s make the distinction between the two: except and accept, right? That way you are not mistaken.

The difference between this word and the word expect is a bit more noticeable, all right? Listen to the difference: except, expect. Here the difference is in the second syllable.

So it begins the same, except, the second syllable is “sept”; and in the word expect, the second syllable is “spect”, so we have that “P” sound in the middle.

So you compare “sept” versus “spect”, right? That’s pretty different. “Cept” and then “s” -close your lips for the “p”, open it to the vowel – ‘spay’ – and end it with “kt”, “kt” – a “k” sound and a “T” – “kt”.

Expect – accept.

Alright. So now let’s look at all three words. Except – except for me; accept – accept your offer; and expect – I expect you to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

except – accept – expect.

Alright. I hope now it’s a little clearer and the fog is dissolved from these three words.