accepted/acceptable

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
Please explain to me the difference between "accepted" and "acceptable" in these two following sentences. Thanks a lot.
1. Is the proposal acceptable to you?
2. Is the proposal accepted by you?
 
  • fenixpollo

    moderator
    American English
    acceptable = can you accept it? is everything in order?
    accepted = did you accept it?

    The second sentence sounds strange. I would say instead "Did you accept it?"

    Cheers
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    I agree with fenixpollo. "Did you accept it?" or, "Was the proposal accepted?" (without the by you) sounds more natural--although the second sentence is grammatically correct.
     

    pflaumi

    New Member
    Austria
    I also have a question concerning "accepted" and "acceptable".
    What's the difference in meaning in those two sentences:

    Watching this sport teaches children that violence is accepted.
    Watching this sport teaches children that violence is acceptable.

    or in general what's the difference between "accepted" and "acceptable"?
    Thanks for your help!
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I also have a question concerning "accepted" and "acceptable".
    What's the difference in meaning in those two sentences:

    Watching this sport teaches children that violence is accepted.
    Watching this sport teaches children that violence is acceptable.

    or in general what's the difference between "accepted" and "acceptable"?
    Thanks for your help!
    In this case, it's a little different for me. "is acceptable" to me means that it is generally tolerated or condoned, while "is accepted" is a more specific occurrence. I can imagine either of your sentences working, though.

    To make more of a distinction, I'd put together a hypothetical sentence like this:

    "Tardiness is not acceptable, but a student will be accepted into class with a note from a parent or guardian explaining the reason for the tardiness."
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    I see the two as almost interchangeable in pflaumi's sentence with a slight difference. To me 'accepted' is used in a general sense to means that something is approved (by the majority), or something that is considered normal, whereas 'acceptable' means something that is worthy of being accepted.

    "Plurality of religion is accepted as a facet of American society, although some (fundamentalists for example) may not find it acceptable."

    In other words, something can be accepted, but not necessarily acceptable (depending on one's opinion).

    So the difference in pflaumi's sentences is:

    "Watching this sport teaches children that violence is accepted."
    (Violence is normal and approved of).
    "Watching this sport teaches children that violence is acceptable."
    (Violence is worthy of acceptance)

    There is a fine line that is not always clear and definitely depends on the context.
     

    pflaumi

    New Member
    Austria
    thanks for all your help!

    well, I wrote this sentence in an essay:
    "Watching this sport teaches children and adults that violence is normal and accepted."
    and my teacher corrected it to "acceptable" and she wants me to explain what's the difference.

    So, thanks alot for your help! I think i know the difference now.
     

    pflaumi

    New Member
    Austria
    well...actually I have another question.
    In the same sentence I actually wrote:
    " Watching this so-called sport teaches children...."
    and she said "so-called" is the wrong word, but I don't know what else I should use and I also don't know how to explain why it is the wrong word.
    What I wanted to say is that some people consider it (=boxing) a sport but I don't think it's a real sport. So why can't I use "so-called"?
    Thanks for your help!
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    Hi again pflaumi,

    This is actually a topic for another thread, but I will offer an answer. She may have thought that 'so-called' is wrong because the majority of people consider boxing a sport and, to the best of my knowledge, it is officially designated as a sport. Still, if you feel it is not a sport I believe you can say "this so-called sport" to express your opinion. That does not necessarily sound wrong to me. But if you wanted to change the sentence there are a couple of possibilities I can think of:

    1) You could say just remove any indication of the word sport:

    "Watching boxing teaching children ..."

    2) You could state that you do not consider it a sport:

    "Watching boxing, which I do not consider a real sport, teaches children..."
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Am I right in saying that "accepted" requires a recipient of some sort?

    For example:

    1) Shorts are not accepted in this restaurant. Please dress formally.
    2) Shorts are not acceptable in this restaurant. Please dress formally.

    I think only "acceptable" work here.
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Can someone help me please? I've read through the entire thread multiple times and still cannot tell which one to use for my context. It's really confusing.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    1) Shorts are not accepted in this restaurant.
    You can't pay for your meal using shorts.
    2) Shorts are not acceptable in this restaurant.
    You can't wear shorts here.
     

    fenixpollo

    moderator
    American English
    "Accepted" does not require "a recipient", as you say, when that recipient is implied or when the sentence is passive voice, like your examples. So your sentence with "accepted" is grammatically correct. But from a perspective of word choice, "acceptable" is the best choice in your context.
     
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