Can these two verbs be used interchangeably? Or do they imply different meanings?

"My employer rewarded me a trip to Hawaii."

"My employer awarded me a trip to Hawaii."

3 Answers 3


The correct verb to use really depends on the meaning of the corresponding noun.

Award (n): a recognition of a personal achievement, e.g. a scholarship for winning a science fair, a plaque for volunteering 100 hours of community service

Reward (n): compensation or incentive for doing something, e.g. cash for returning a lost wallet, getting to stay up late for tidying one's bedroom

  • Thanks. Would you mind adding the correct sample sentences with both reward and award to the answer?
    – Mysterion
    Aug 24, 2010 at 9:16
  • It's hard to be certain which verb to use, without knowing the circumstances under which the trip was given. If the employee knew the trip would be given out to the most productive employee, and then became productive in order to receive it, then reward sounds appropriate. But if the employee wasn't expecting it, then award sounds better. I think.
    – Gary
    Aug 26, 2010 at 5:52

The first sentence should be

My employer rewarded me with a trip to Hawaii.

The two verbs have a different meaning; to award suggests that the giver is in some sense a judge, and that the thing given is deserved (award a scholarship).

  • 1
    Should the second one be My employer awarded me with a trip to Hawaii. as well?
    – Mysterion
    Aug 23, 2010 at 4:22
  • 1
    @Hamid: No. It is he was awarded the Purple Heart, not he was awarded with the Purple Heart.
    – apaderno
    Aug 23, 2010 at 4:33

The first answer is more accurate: it depends.

  • Was the trip a recognition of a personal achievement? If yes, then it is an award.


  • Was the trip a compensation or incentive for doing something, e.g. having the highest sales? If yes, then it is a reward.

Seems to me it was a reward, not an award. Usually anything given by an employer is a compensation, for doing something outstanding, for the company.

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