502 – Win vs. Earn vs. Gain

MichaelAD Confusing Words, Vocabulary Leave a Comment

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Hey guys, it’s Michael here. It’s officially spring here in NYC, but you wouldn’t know that by walking around outside this morning. The temperature was around 1 degree Celsius. And it’s really windy. Luckily, this winter wasn’t as cold as it usually is. I can’t wait for the warm weather to come.

The other day, one of my students from Brazil was asking about the difference between win, earn, and gain. It seems that these three English words can translate too the same word in Portuguese. Here’s the thing about translating. In my experience in both teaching and learning language, I think the only things that really translate well are nouns that represent concrete nouns. These are nouns that your physical senses can detect. For example, words like cat, door, and carrot can be easily translated from one language to another with little misunderstanding. But other nouns, like freedom and love, and other intangible words like comfortable or join don’t have an exact one to one translation. In addition, how we say something in one language is different from how we say that thing in another language. English speakers say, “I had a dream,” but Japanese speakers say, “I saw a dream.” I think that’s something important to keep in mind as you study English.

Here are the example sentences. To get the details of this English lesson, you need to listen to the podcast or check the transcript for the details.

  • I’ve been training very hard, so I think I will win the race on Sunday.
  • The Yankees won the baseball game last night.
  • Jack said he won $100 playing blackjack in Las Vegas.
  • The lottery prize is $600 million dollars. What would I do if I won?
  • Jenny earns a good salary as a graphic designer.
  • I’ve heard some fortune tellers earn a lot of money.
  • Investing in stocks and bonds is a good way to earn money, but it’s also risky.
  • Jimmy’s restaurant business earned a million dollars in its first year.
  • A lot of people these days have gained fame as YouTubers.
  • I first gained experience in teaching English when I was working in Japan in the 1990’s.
  • Working as an apprentice is a good way to gain skills in carpentry.
  • I’ve gained five kilograms since January.
  • A Lamborghini can gain speed easily because of its design.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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