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Hear/here and accept/except

Learn to tell when to use "hear" instead of "here" and vice versa; you'll learn how to do the same with "accept" and "except".

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Video transcript

- [David] Hello, Grammarians, today we're going to talk about two sets of frequently confused words. Hear and here, and accept versus except. These words are pronounced very similarly to one another, but they have very different meanings. And so what I'm going to try and do is define those words for you and then come up with mnemonic devices, memory aids to help you keep them straight. So the word, hear, H-E-A-R, is a verb, and it means, to listen, to sense something with your ears. The word H-E-R-E, here, is an adverb. And it signals that something is close by. So an example for the verb, hear, is to say, I hear, I don't know, birdsong. I hear birdsong, oh so lovely. There's our beautiful bird, there's it's beautiful song, and we're hearing it. Now in order to remember that H-E-A-R involves listening, I like to point out that it actually contains the word ear, the very device to we use to hear things in the first place. That's a human ear, alright, there's your earlobe, the tragus, your scaphoid fossa, and parts of the ear. So, just remember, that hear contains the word ear. Here the adverb, however, let's use this in an example, the secret treasure should be right here. And in order to keep this one straight, I like to remember that here, rhymes with near, which is what it means, right? When something is here, it's directly next to you or near you. So for here with an A, there's an ear in it too. But with here with an E, it's nearness to you. Next, the words accept and except. These are pronounced very slightly, differently. So accept here, is a verb and it means to go along with, or to receive. As in, I accept this gift in the name of Spain. And except, on the other hand, is a conjunction and a preposition. Which can kind of be used the same way that but is used. Sort of an everything but, way. So, for example, I like every vegetable except zucchini, which isn't true, I like zucchini a great deal, but you can see how it's being used like but. It's kind of exclusionary. Which is how we're going to tell the difference between these two words, this gives us the basis for our mnemonic so remember that except is spelled, E-X-C-E-P-T which is also the first three letters of a similar word, exclude, so except excludes stuff. And accept is spelled A-C-C-E-P-T, so we're going to say that's very similar to access. So accept with an A, brings something in, and except with an E, keeps something out. You can learn anything, David out.