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What is the difference between "award" and "reward" ?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Award and reward can both be nouns and verbs.

    As a noun, reward is something (anything, really) that is given in exchange for some action or behavior. An award is usually one of two things:
    ( 1 ) a medal or decoration
    ( 2 ) money or rights/privileges given by a court of law. Awards are often tokens that are sources of pride and meant to be displayed, whereas rewards tend to be more fleeting and practical.

    For example:

    As a reward for working on his days off, Sam was given an extra day of vacation.
    Sam received no medal or certificate or anything else.

    Sam received an award for Employee of the Month.
    Sam probably got some certificate or something (the 'award'), but may not have gotten anything practical.

    An award may also be dictated by a judge in a court. The victim of a drunk driver might win an award of $500,000, or a son contesting his father's will might win the rights to sell the father's estate.

    In any event, the verb forms are created just like most other English verbs from nouns. One will generally be rewarded for something, but be awarded some object or honor.

    Sam was rewarded for working on his days off by getting extra vacation.

    Sam was awarded a Gold Star and certificate for being Employee of the Month.


    Hello Gwena:

    The Free Dictionary Online (by Farlex) indicates:


    1. To grant as merited or due: awarded prizes to the winners.
    2. To give as legally due: awarded damages to the plaintiff.



    . Something given or received in recompense for worthy behavior or in retribution for evil acts.
    2. Money offered or given for some special service, such as the return of a lost article or the capture of a criminal.
    3. A satisfying return or result; profit.
    4. Psychology The return for performance of a desired behavior; positive reinforcement.


    I will try to make this clear.

    An AWARD, is often not Financial but it can be. For example, The Nobel Peace Prize is an Award, which comes along with a large sum of money to Scientists, and those who contribute to peace in the world.

    A REWARD, frequently is a promise of money. For example, in American culture, particulary that associated with the pursuit and capture of criminals, a specific amount of money might be offered for the criminals capture. Thus, one criminal's capture might get you a cash reward of $500.00 and another might get you a reward of $25,000.00.

    Sometimes also, in police work, one can see notices for a Cash Reward, like $10,000.00 leading to the capture and arrest of a "wanted" criminal.

    In contrast, an AWARD often tends to be something like a paper certificate, a sports trophy to signify a Championship Status, or other such "honorarium".

    I recall, that in some Professional Golfing events, the tournament winner has sometimes been AWARDED a brand new car or something.

    I have been pondering this, and I realize suddenly that the distinction is not always clear.

    I think though that I can sort it out to your satisfaction. A REWARD is usually cash or property that is promised up front, without any indication as to a superlative ability on the part of the person receiving the Money.

    An AWARD may include money, but it is usually a way to officiallly recognize some special gift, talent, contribution or ability that the recipient has demonstrated.

    I would be curious to see other answers on this subject also.

    .--Warm Regards, Bruce

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