REWARD A reward is given for a positive thing that somebody has done well. For example, working particularly hard, meeting targets, getting a good grade on a test or exam or finding something that someone has lost. This last one is very common and in the UK it is common to see posters about missing cats or dogs or even someone’s keys or wallet which start with the word 'REWARD' in big letters. This encourages people to help find whatever it is that has been lost. The actual reward that is given in any of these situations can be anything from money (probably the most common thing) to a special treat like a box of chocolates. Listen to these examples: As a reward for passing my driving test, my Dad took me to London for the weekend. The person who finds my cat will receive £100 as a reward. I’m so pleased with your work I’m going to reward you with two days holiday. Note the use of the expressions to be rewarded for something and to reward someone with something. AWARD Similarly, an award is given for something that is done well but it tends to be more formal and is given to demonstrate to other people that the person has done something well. An award tends to be something like a certificate, or a medal or a statue. Generally, an award is presented in front of other people while a reward is normally only exchanged between the people giving and receiving the reward. Listen to these sentences: Louie received an award for getting outstanding results in the maths exam. We would expect that the award was awarded in the school assembly or at a special presentation event. Vineet was awarded a gold medal for winning the marathon. Again, this would normally happen in front of an audience. An award can also refer to an amount of money that someone is ordered to pay someone else, usually in a court of law. For example: Peter received an award of £5000 as compensation for the car accident. Note that the use of the passive is common here: someone is awarded something and that like with reward you receive an award. I hope this makes it clearer. The main thing to bear in mind is that while both are given for something that has been done well, an award tends to be something bigger and more important than a reward, usually given in front of other people.