Both "gain" and "acquire" seem the same to me before I read this sentence in one of the ACCA exam questions. Here it is:

The evaluation should analyse four specific scenarios (acquire and not gain licence; acquire and gain licence; bid directly and gain licence; bid directly and not gain licence).

Can you explain how these two words differ in this sentence?

closed as unclear what you're asking by michael_timofeev, user140086, Brian Hooper, Nathaniel, tchrist Dec 28 '15 at 0:37

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  • What is being evaluated? What is the full context? What is the question about? Please edit the question including all the details you have. Otherwise, your question is not clear. – user140086 Dec 26 '15 at 11:44
  • "Acquire and gain" seems redundant to me. See answer. – TRomano Dec 26 '15 at 12:55
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    I think she wants to know the difference between 'acquire' and 'gain', as the sentence given has "acquire and not gain" as the first scenarios and "acquire and gain" as the second. I too would like to know how something can be acquired without being gained. – Roaring Fish Dec 26 '15 at 12:56
  • I don't think it is possible to acquire and not gain. – TRomano Dec 26 '15 at 12:56
  • That is what I think too. The OED entry for 'acquire' is "To gain possession of through skill or effort". – Roaring Fish Dec 26 '15 at 12:59

I have the answer after some searching. The paper the question is taken from is here: -> http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/acca/global/PDF-students/acca/p3/exampapers/P3-2015-jun-q.pdf

The question, in full, is:

2Tel also requires an evaluation of the relative advantages of bidding for a licence, either through acquiring T-Me, or through bidding directly. The evaluation should analyse four specific scenarios (acquire and not gain licence; acquire and gain licence; bid directly and gain licence; bid directly and not gain licence). The analysis of each scenario should include the financial implications of each scenario. The evaluation should conclude with your recommendation on the preferred entry strategy.

The OP's confusion is not from the meaning of the words acquire and gain, but from what they refer to. The options are to acquire T-Me and gain a licence, or to acquire T-Me and not gain a licence.

  • Thank you so much for searching and sorry I couldn't write the full context promptly. – Maria Dec 26 '15 at 19:11

Per Blacks Law Dictionary 4th edition:

ACQUIRE. To gain by any means, usually by one's own exertions; to get as one's own; to obtain by search, endeavor, practice, or purchase; receive or gain in whatever manner; come to have. Clarno v. Gamble-Robinson Co., 190 Minn. 256, 251 N.W. 268, 269.

In law of contracts and of descents, to become owner of property; to make property one's own. Crutchfield v. Johnson & Latimer, 243 Ala. 73, 8 So.2d 412. To gain ownership of. Commissioner of Insurance v. Broad Street Mut. Casualty Ins. Co., 312 Mass. 261, 44 N.E.2d 683, 684. Broad meaning including both purchase and construction; acquisition being the act of getting or obtaining something which may be already in existence, or may be brought into existence through means employed to acquire it. Ronnow v. City of Las Vegas, 57 Nev. 332, 65 P.2d 133, 140. Sometimes used in the sense of "procure," Jolly v. McCoy, 36 Cal.App. 479, 172 P. 618, 619. It does not necessarily mean that title has passed, Godwin v. Tuttle, 70 Or. 424, 141 P. 1120, 1122. Includes taking by devise, U. S. v. Merriam, 263 U.S. 179. 44 S.Ct. 69, 70 68 L.Ed. 240, 29 A. L. R. 1547.

  • This doesn't really answer the question. The OP already said "Both "gain" and "acquire" seem the same to me". – Roaring Fish Dec 26 '15 at 12:58
  • I can't fit the information given here as a comment. Just don't vote it up if it's lacking as an answer. It's authoritative information showing that at least in American Law (which derives from British law) "acquire" implies "gain". Blacks is a respected dictionary. It's not crowdsourced info. – TRomano Dec 26 '15 at 13:04
  • @RoaringFish: this shows that in the realm of law, acquire and gain appear to have the same meaning. – Peter Shor Dec 26 '15 at 13:05
  • Perhaps in British chartered accountancy law, one purchases a license but then must sit for exams which must be passed in order to gain the right to wield the license. – TRomano Dec 26 '15 at 13:09

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