Except – Understanding the Meaning

Except is a difficult concept to understand.  There are two things to look for in a sentence that includes “except”.

  1. The rule
  2. The exception (the thing that doesn’t follow the rule)

Let’s see a few examples:

  • I am free all day except 2:30.
    • Rule: I am free all day.
    • Exception: I am not free at 2:30.
  • Everyone except for Jim was invited.
    • Rule: Everyone was invited.
    • Exception: Jim was not invited.
  • No right turn on red except curb lane.
    • Rule: No vehicles may turn right on red.
    • Exception: The vehicles in the curb lane (the lane nearest the side of the road) can turn on red.
  • No one except me is allowed to go into the building.
    • Rule: No one is allowed to go into the building.
    • Exception: I am allowed to go into the building.
  • Any time would work except 1:00.
    • Rule: Any time would work.
    • Exception: 1:00 would not work.

Check your understanding

  • What does the following sentence mean?
  • What is the rule?
  • What is the exception?
  • Tell me in the comment section below.

I always understand the sentence except when it includes the word “except”.

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