Achievement Verbs In English

How can you talk about your achievements and successes in English?

Expand your vocabulary and use a variety of words! Here are nine useful verbs.

Get good results through work / effort

succeed (use with the preposition ‘in’ followed by the -ing form)
I succeeded in passing my driving test.

achieved = reach a result
“She achieved all her aims.”

obtained = a more formal way to say “get” (a job / degree)
“He obtained a degree in Politics from a prestigious university.”

gain = get something you want (synonym of ‘obtain’).
She gained a degree in Biochemistry.”
He gained a promotion after just 6 months.

secure = succeed in getting something, such as a job or placement
“He secured a place at Oxford to study medicine.”

Improving skills

master = when you succeed in a skill
“She’s finally mastered the skill of negotiation.”
“It’s hard to master English.”

excel at = be very good at (do even better than other people)
“She excelled at sports in school.”

Succeed when things are difficult

overcome = successfully deal with a challenge / obstacle
“He had to overcome many challenges to become a lawyer.”

conquer = overcome a fear
“She conquered her fear of heights to go mountaineering.”

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