Difference Wiki

Except vs. Exempt: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on November 6, 2023
Except means to exclude something; exempt means to be free from an obligation.

Key Differences

Except is a preposition or conjunction that indicates exclusion, often used to specify something that does not apply to a general statement. Exempt, however, is a verb or adjective relating to the act of freeing someone or something from a given duty or obligation. While "except" introduces an exclusion, "exempt" introduces an exclusion from a requirement.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023
In usage, one might say, “All team members must attend the meeting, except John,” suggesting that John is not required to attend. Alternatively, using exempt, one could say, “John is exempt from attending the meeting,” meaning John is released from the obligation that applies to the rest of the team. "Except" functions to carve out an exception, whereas "exempt" confers a status of being free from certain rules or requirements.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023
Grammatically, "except" can be seen as a way of partitioning or separating an element from a group, while "exempt" implies a privilege or immunity granted to an individual or entity. One might be excepted by circumstance, but exempt by choice or decree. Except identifies the outliers within a set rule, and exempt signifies who or what is not bound by that rule.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023
When discussing conditions or stipulations, except is used to qualify or limit the scope, such as in legal documents where specific cases are outlined as being outside of the document's jurisdiction. Exempt, in contrast, is often used in tax law, labor law, or other regulatory texts to denote who does not have to comply with a particular law or requirement. Except sets boundaries within compliance, while exempt denotes a departure from the need to comply.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023
Therefore, although except and exempt may seem similar in that they both deal with non-inclusion, they are used differently. "Except" is about leaving out something that is otherwise included, and "exempt" is about having an official dispensation from a rule or requirement. Understanding the distinction is crucial for correct usage in both written and spoken language.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 06, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Preposition, conjunction
Verb, adjective
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Function

Indicates exclusion
Indicates immunity or privilege
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Usage in a Sentence

"All can go, except Jane."
"Jane is exempt from the rule."
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Requirement Status

Implies inclusion with exceptions
Implies freedom from obligation
Janet White
Nov 06, 2023

Legal Context

Specifies non-applicable items
Specifies parties not obliged
Janet White
Nov 06, 2023
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Except and Exempt Definitions

Except

Used to introduce an exclusion.
I teach every day except Sunday.
Sara Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Exempt

Freed from a duty or obligation.
She is exempt from the final exam due to her high grades.
Huma Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Except

Not including; other than.
Everyone went to lunch except me.
Huma Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Exempt

Not subject to rules that apply to others.
Diplomats are often exempt from parking fines.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Except

To exclude.
Please take all the books except the ones on the top shelf.
Harlon Moss
Nov 06, 2023

Exempt

To release from an obligation.
The charity was exempt from taxes.
Sara Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Except

But; however.
The trip was fun, except it was too short.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Exempt

Not affected by a given influence or condition.
Some students are exempt from paying tuition fees.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Except

Unless.
We will proceed except we hear otherwise.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Exempt

To be spared from a usual requirement.
Members of the council are exempt from the entrance fee.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Except

With the exclusion of; other than; but
Everyone except me.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 16, 2023

Exempt

To free from an obligation, duty, or liability to which others are subject
Exempting the disabled from military service.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 16, 2023

Except

If it were not for the fact that; only. Often used with that
I would buy the suit, except that it costs too much.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 16, 2023

Exempt

(Obsolete) To set apart; isolate.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 16, 2023

FAQs

Can exempt be used as a noun?

No, exempt is not commonly used as a noun; it's used as a verb or adjective.
Huma Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

What does it mean to be exempt from something?

To be exempt means to be free from an obligation or rule that others must follow.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Is except a verb?

No, except is not a verb; it's a preposition or a conjunction.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Can except and exempt be used interchangeably?

No, they serve different grammatical functions and cannot be used interchangeably.
Sara Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Does exempt have to be authorized by a rule or law?

Yes, exemptions usually come from an authority or established rule.
Janet White
Nov 06, 2023

Can I use except at the beginning of a sentence?

It is uncommon and typically except is used in the middle or end of a sentence.
Harlon Moss
Nov 06, 2023

Can exempt be used in legal contexts?

Yes, exempt is often used in legal contexts to refer to someone or something not subject to a law.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 06, 2023

Can exempt apply to anyone or anything?

Exempt typically applies to individuals or entities that meet certain conditions for immunity.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Can except be used in legal contexts?

Yes, except can be used in legal contexts to detail exceptions within a rule or law.
Harlon Moss
Nov 06, 2023

What is the adjective form of except?

Except doesn't have an adjective form; it’s used as a preposition or conjunction.
Janet White
Nov 06, 2023

Is except always followed by a noun or pronoun?

Yes, except is usually followed by a noun or pronoun that it excludes.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 06, 2023

Does except have synonyms?

Yes, words like excluding, save for, or barring are synonyms for except.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Can exempt stand alone in a sentence?

Exempt usually does not stand alone; it modifies a noun or is part of a verb phrase.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Can except imply a condition?

Yes, except can imply a condition when used in the sense of 'unless'.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

How does except affect a sentence?

Except limits or restricts the scope of what is being discussed by excluding something.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Does exempt have synonyms?

Yes, words like immune, excused, or freed are synonyms for exempt.
Harlon Moss
Nov 06, 2023

What is the noun form of exempt?

Exempt doesn't have a noun form; it's used as a verb or adjective.
Sara Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Can exempt be conditional?

Exempt can be conditional if the exemption is contingent upon meeting certain criteria.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 06, 2023

Is except followed by that?

No, except is not typically followed by "that". It's usually followed by a noun or pronoun.
Harlon Moss
Nov 06, 2023

Can either word be used in a formal context?

Yes, both except and exempt can be used in formal contexts appropriately.
Harlon Moss
Nov 06, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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