Headway Word of the Week

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To earn means to get money by working or from an investment.

  • David Beckham earns £50,000 a day!
  • The interest earned on my account has been re-invested.

It can also mean to get what you deserve for working hard or achieving things in life.

  • Congratulations on your promotion! You've earned it.
Check out these expressions
  • earn your keep
    ( = work to deserve being looked after)
    After university, I went back to live with my parents, but my father told me I couldn't stay there for nothing. I had to earn my keep by doing jobs about the house.
  • earn a living
    ( = earn enough to live on)
    These days it's difficult to earn a living as an artist.
  • earn respect
    ( = do something to deserve it)
    As a manager, the first thing you must do is earn the respect of your employees.
Check out compounds and collocations
  • a high earner
    ( = somebody who has a very high salary)
  • a wage earner
    ( = somebody who regularly earns money by working)
  • average earnings
    ( = the average amount of money that people are paid)
  • unearned income
    ( = money that you get, but not from working)
  • a nice little earner
    ( = an activity that pays well, but doesn't involve a lot of hard work)
  • a well-earned rest/break
    ( = a rest or break that you really deserve)
Check out how earn is different from win

Win means to get something as a prize in a competition. It does not mean to get money for working.

  • Brazil won the World Cup.
  • Aunt Anne won £1 million on the lottery.
  • Uncle Frank earns £30,000 a year from his job. (not wins)
Check out other related words
  • gain
  • deserve
  • receive
  • profit

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