Difference Between Accept and Acknowledge (With Table)

Accept’ and ‘Acknowledge’ differ on a very thin basis. Both these words imply agreement over something with minor variations. These words come in handy while expressing consent, acceptance, or deeming a proposition as valid. However, there are vital differences in the way they are used.

Accept vs Acknowledge

The main difference between Accept and Acknowledge depends on the manner they are used in a sentence. Generally, ‘Accept’ is used to provide permission or give an undertaking. Whereas ‘Acknowledge’ is used to admit the existence of truth.

Accept can be used as an informal way of agreeing or simply saying ‘yes’. Moreover, it can also be stated as a satisfactory response to a situation. Dictionary-wise, it also implies the act of agreeing over a concept.

On the other hand ‘Acknowledge’ is a formal manner of establishing fact. Sometimes, to give weight to scientific reasoning we use acknowledge. Also, the term is used to recognize a notion, study, or belief. Acknowledge can also be used to mark the quality of truth.

Comparison Table Between Accept and Acknowledge

Parameter of comparisonAcceptAcknowledge 
FormAccept can only be used in the form of a ‘verb’.Acknowledge can be used both as a verb and an adjective in its different forms.
UsageNotably, it is used to say ‘yes’ to something or someone. It is also used to come to terms with the current situation.It is used to establish a basic fact about a concept. Like, acknowledging the existence of the universe or simply a scientific truth.
Usage(In similar cases)‘Accept’ is used to informally state being OK. That is, providing a satisfactory response concerning the current outcome.Acknowledging is the act of concluding a fact. It does not vary with the outcome and remains constant with the outcome.
Example
“I accept the punishment given to me because of my actions.”

“She finally acknowledged the existence of new plant species, which she earlier denied.”

Synonyms
Receive, welcome, takeAdmit, confess, grant

What is the meaning of Accept?

The word ‘accept’ can simply mean to agree about something. Normally, it is used for any causal positive response.

Example- 

I accept the new insurance policy that you just proposed to me.

Accept is also used to say yes to an invitation or an offer. Like, hinting at your reply after being invited somewhere. Furthermore, to consider something as satisfactory or optimum, we can use ‘accept’.

Example-

The candidate was offered the job, but we don’t know if he’ll accept it.

After much speculation, he was finally accepted as a member of society.

The word is used to make-believe something or to express your faith in it. Accept is used to convey that it aligns with your thought process and does not go against your belief system. The basic idea of using this verb is to express your notion in agreement.

Example

Religion is a concept that is accepted by a majority of humans.

Sometimes, it is used to comply with the possible outcome. However the result may be, it is a custom response to that situation.

Example

The thief knew he had nowhere to run, therefore he accepted his fate and surrendered.

What is the meaning of Acknowledge?

There are two forms of ‘Acknowledge’ in terms of grammatical use. The first one is a verb and the second is an adjective.

Primarily, the word is used to establish a scientific fact or a universal truth. The act of acknowledging something which cannot be refuted and holds logical reasoning. Therefore, when this word is used it generally implies a robust approach.

Example

Conspiracy theorists cannot acknowledge the simple fact that the earth is round.

It is also used to recognize the existence of an object or an emotion, by permanently accepting its significance.

Example-

Rahul acknowledged the absence of eminent board members during the meeting.

During the speech, the principal acknowledged the issue with some notorious students.

Another vital use of the word is when a decision is made the outcome is presented, and the individual is supposed to come to terms with it. The outcome may not be in their favor, still, they have to understand the situation.

Example-

Even though the voter turnout was disappointing, as it ended in favor of NOTA, both candidates acknowledged each other’s effort and persistence.

Main Differences Between Accept and Acknowledge

  1. ‘Accept’ is used to give entry permission for a new member of a group. ’Acknowledge’ is used to recognize the presence of that member in the group.
  2. ‘Accept’ is mostly used in an informal sense by a speaker. ‘Acknowledge’ is strictly used for a formal tone during a speech or conversation.
  3. ‘Accept’ is used in the form of a verb. ‘Acknowledge’ is used both as a verb and adjective in a sentence.
  4. ‘Accept’ is used to simply receive an object. ‘Acknowledge’ is used to address that the object is officially sent and received by the individual.
  5. ‘Accept’ is used to say yes to something. ‘Acknowledge’ is used to come to terms with it no matter what the outcome is.

Conclusion

The word ‘accept’ and ‘acknowledge’ mostly carry a similar meaning, but in their core form, they relate different information. Therefore, both of these words can be used in different settings with slight variations. In retrospect, ‘accept’ and ‘acknowledge’ can be used accordingly with minor changes in the sentence.

‘Accept’ is used more often to relay an informal expression. ‘Acknowledge’ is strongly used to convey formal gestures during a debate, discussion, or speech. Therefore, the latter is suggested in a formal environment when one has to express their authority.

Depending upon the type of usage required, both of these words can be used simultaneously. ‘Accept’ is primarily used to express content with a situation. But, ‘acknowledge’ is used only when the agreement is permanent and does not differ from the outcomes.

Conclusively, ‘accept’ is used when there is room for doubt but ‘acknowledged’ is only used when there is a surety.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1997-08670-000
  2. https://drzur.com/clinical-updates/facebook-friend-request/