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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.

Careful speakers always make the distinction: accept [ak-sept] -- except [ik-sept]. see, – 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 accept /ækˈsɛpt/, except /ɪkˈsɛpt/ – slim Jan 24 '12 at 11:24
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
"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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