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What is the proper way to say that someone received a prize / achieved a certain rank as a result of his participation in a contest or competition? I would also like a brief explanation, if it's more about it than being a mere collocation.

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    Does the word won suffice?
    – Minnow
    Mar 25, 2015 at 18:25
  • Not really. What if someone took the second, the third prize, or even a lousy but somehow notable honorary mention? Won seems not that proper to me... Mar 25, 2015 at 19:36
  • Besides gold, Olympians can win silver or bronze. This usage seems a bit contradictory, since unadorned win means take the single highest honor, but it’s perfectly idiomatic, at least in American English. Aug 17, 2023 at 14:46

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Well, you enter into a contest, and you receive a prize in a contest. So, I'd guess it's just a combination of those two collocations.

But, on second thought... You received the prize because you were in the contest; or, in other words, you received the prize because you were part of the contest.

So, "for" doesn't work because that would imply you received a prize because you created / held a contest, and "on" wouldn't work because it doesn't establish the important fact that you were actually a participant in the contest (also, partly because both of those other prepositions would be jarring. I've never heard anyone use anything other than "in" in this context).

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One wins a prize for an achievement. Example: "Joey won first prize for his poem "Rat Fink" in the school literary competition."

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    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Aug 17, 2023 at 14:32
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Joey was awarded first prize for his poem "Rat Fink" in the school literary competition.

Award (v.)

To give money or a prize following an official decision

Carlos was awarded first prize in the essay competition. Cambridge

To grant as merited or due:

Awarded prizes to the winners. AHD


Because of the large number of class B riders entered, the promoting Meteor club decided to award trophies to fourth and fifth place finishers. American Motorcyclist, Dec. 1962

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