Is it better to say

Earn an achievement


Obtain an achievement

Which one is correct? Is there another verb that is more suitable for "achievement"?


When discussing video games, you can say "obtain an achievement". In video games, there is often a reward for doing something. (For example, you might get an extra life upon scoring 5,000 points.) In this example, the phrase "obtain an achievement" refers to both scoring your 5,000th point, and obtaining the extra life. The emphasis is on the moment at which you receive the reward, not on the previous 4,999 points.

In most other contexts, "earn an achievement" or "achieve <something>" sounds more natural. This is because the emphasis is on the work you did to achieve that <something>, not on the action by which someone gives you a prize.

"Obtain a reward" and "win a prize" also sound natural. This is because the emphasis is on receiving the prize, not on your effort to be worthy of the prize.


I'd say earn usually fits better. "Obtain" means to get or receive something. Earn means to get something that you deserve because of hard work and effort. Although they both work in this context.


I would have to say neither.

Achievement: a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.

Achievement: something that has been done or achieved through effort : a result of hard work


Achievement: the process or fact of achieving something.

One can earn an award, but an achievement is not an object. It is, instead, the recognition that an act has been successfully completed. You can neither earn nor obtain it: rather, it is achieved. And no, this does not mean that you can achieve an achievement.

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