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When I hear people say I accept especially in the U.S., it sounds like they are saying "I except". What is the correct pronunciation?

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closed as general reference by Mahnax, Will Hunting, Alenanno, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Brendon Jan 24 '12 at 12:53

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Careful speakers always make the distinction: accept [ak-sept] -- except [ik-sept]. see, dictionary.reference.com –  Kris Jan 24 '12 at 10:29

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Accept and Except are homonyms in many British and American accents.

I myself would have to use considerable effort to try to make them sound different -- and I speak in a very neutral British accent.

This explains why they are so often confused in written English.

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Accents do vary widely in pronunciation. What would be the 'correct' pronunciation, or the pronunciation in a very neutral British accent? –  Kris Jan 24 '12 at 11:16
    
According to Dictionary.com: accept /ækˈsɛpt/, except /ɪkˈsɛpt/ –  slim Jan 24 '12 at 11:24
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I think you'd have a tough time finding an example of a native speaker really pronouncing the 'a' of 'accept' such that it's the same as the 'a' in 'cat' - which is what 'æ' is in IPA. –  slim Jan 24 '12 at 11:42
    
It was my point all long that there is indeed such thing as the IPA to answer the OP's question for the correct pronunciation. –  Kris Jan 24 '12 at 11:44
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"the correct pronunciation" isn't terribly interesting, if nobody is using it. –  slim Jan 24 '12 at 11:48

In the UK, the pronunciation would be "Ack-Sept" but the first vowel sound gets mangled in various ways across the country.

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