attain vs obtain : Common Errors in English

About attain vs obtain

“Attain” means “reach” and “obtain” means “get.” You attain a mountaintop, but obtain a rare baseball card. “Attain” usually implies a required amount of labor or difficulty; nothing is necessarily implied about the difficulty of obtaining that card. Maybe you just found it in your brother’s dresser drawer. Some things you obtain can also be attained. If you want to emphasize how hard you worked in college, you might say you attained your degree; but if you want to emphasize that you have a valid degree that qualifies you for a certain job, you might say you obtained it. If you just bought it from a diploma mill for fifty bucks, you definitely only obtained it.

attain Meaning(s)

  • (v) reach a point in time, or a certain state or level
  • (v) to gain with effort
  • (v) reach a destination, either real or abstract
  • (v) find unexpectedly

obtain Meaning(s)

  • (v) come into possession of
  • (v) receive a specified treatment (abstract)
  • (v) be valid, applicable, or true

attain in News

  1. Persistent Systems Delivers on HPCA Licensing Agreement, Launches Radia Client Automation at HP(R) Discover 2013

    Solution Solves BYOD Complexity, Enables Enterprises to Attain Desired-State Management of Physical and Virtual Endpoint Devices
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Marketwire

  2. IdeaKloud Adds New Lines to Business Reach and Exposure with Broadcasterr

    NEW YORK, June 13th, 2013 /MarketersMedia/ -- It is the aim of every business owner to bring maximum reach to their business. As an alternative to attain more business exposure IdeaKloud comes up with ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Accesswire via Yahoo! Finance

  3. Precipitate Advances to Final Stages of Concession Application Process in Dominican Republic; Next Phase Exploration ...

    Precipitate Gold Corp. is pleased to announce it has advanced to an important stage in the process to attain its concession grant for the Juan de Herrera concession application in the Tireo belt of the ...
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Marketwired via Yahoo! Finance

obtain in News

  1. Three Newark residents charged with criminal attempt to obtain controlled dangerous substance

    Three Newark resident charged with criminal attempt to obtain controlled dangerous substance
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The Warren Reporter

  2. Feds to allow minors to obtain emergency contraception

    The Obama administration will allow minors to obtain one form of the emergency contraception known as the "morning-after pill," dropping its appeal of a judge's order requiring it to be sold over the counter.
    on June 11, 2013 Source: CBS 58 Milwaukee

  3. Minors Allowed to Obtain ‘Morning After Pill’

    From Bill Mears (CNN) — The Obama administration will allow minors to obtain one form of the emergency contraception known...
    on June 11, 2013 Source: FOX 8 Cleveland

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