earn / gain / win

To win is to be #1 in a competition, or to receive an award.

  • My soccer team won the game 3-1.
  • I want to win the lottery!
  • John won a prize in the science competition.

    You can win a game, a race, a match, a competition, or the lottery. You can also win a medal (like in the Olympics), a prize, or an award.

    To earn something is to get something in exchange for your work or effort, for example: a salary.

  • Sarah is a famous lawyer; she earns a lot of money.
  • I’m not rich, but I earn a decent salary.
  • My bank account earns 2% interest per month.

    To gain something is simply to get or increase – not necessarily because of action:

  • I’ve gained five pounds since I stopped exercising.
  • Jack’s car gained speed as he drove down the mountain.
  • The company is gaining international recognition.