'Win', 'earn', or 'gain'?
Episode 200211 / 11 Feb 2020
This week's question
What's the difference between 'win', 'earn' and 'gain'? - Esraa
Which of these three verbs is the irregular one?
Win - 1st place
Win can mean 'achieve 1st place in a competition, contest, fight, argument, bet, attempt etc'. Its verb forms are win, won, (have) won.
- My team won the football match 3-0!
Win - get
Win can mean 'get something that other people are trying to get'. This is useful in a business context. We talk about winning an order, contract or 'the right to' do something.
- The most successful contract will win the right to build the bridge.
Win - gain support
Win can mean 'gain someone's support'. We talk about winning support, approval, the heart of someone or winning someone over.
- The politicians speech won over the hostile crowd and they started cheering.
Earn - receive money
Earn can mean 'receive an amount of money in exchange for your work. Its verb forms are earn, earned, (have) earned. People earn money or earn a living - they make money to survive.
- I could never earn a living as a translator, because I'm not fluent in any other language.
Earn - receive profit
Earn can mean 'receive as profit' in a business context. Companies, shares and accounts can earn.
- So far, the movie has earned £3million.
Earn - something deserved
Earn can mean 'receive something deserved'. You can earn praise, respect or earn your place at work.
- After this video, I've earned a nice cup of tea.
Gain - obtain something positive
Gain can mean 'get or obtain something positive'. We talk about gaining support, an advantage or confidence.
- I was nervous in my first video, but since then, I've gained confidence.
Gain - increase
Gain can mean 'increase in amount'. Things can gain height, weight, speed, value etc.
- My jeans are tight. Have I gained weight?
Gain - popularity
Gain can mean 'become more popular'. Things, such as ideas or movements, can gain ground, traction or popularity.
- Veganism is gaining ground as more people become vegan.
Win! Its forms are win, won and (have) won.
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