Acquire or Attain, Choose the correct word.

Choose the correct word:
Buddha ...................  (attained or acquired) enlightenment.

Acquire and Attain mean almost the same thing: to gain something. But the usage of the words base on how you get something. Let's explore more about them.

What is the meaning of Acquire ?
Acquire is a verb.
To acquire something is to gain something by your own efforts, ability.
  1. He has acquired a good knowledge of English.
  2. My brother has acquired the habit of reading books.
  3. Children can acquire new skill in a very less time.
If you acquire something, you buy or obtain it for yourself, or someone gives it to you.
  1. General Motors acquired a 50% stake in Saab for about $400m.
  2. The telecom giant acquired the studio last June as part of its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner. New York Times.

What is the meaning of Attain ?
Attain is a verb.
To attain something is to succeed in getting something, usually after a lot of effort.
  1. Buddha attained enlightenment.
  2. The cheetah can attain speeds of up to 97 kph.
  3. After lots of efforts, he attained the position of President.

When to use the verb Acquire, when to use the verb Attain:
To acquire is a progressive action with permanent result.
If children acquire their education, it doesn't mean that they don't need more education. They would get more new skills whenever they need.
To attain is a perfect and finished action.
If you are working on a project, and after sometime you attain the goal.  Now your action is finished and perfect; you don't need to work.
Acquire means gaining something continuously. 
But we stop when we attained.

What is acquired is something got into one's possession.
For example: "I acquired many computer languages: Java, C++, Pythan, PHP and many more."
What is attained is the point arrived at.
For example: "He attained the position of president."

We acquire a new skill or a language.
But we attain to a certain degree of perfection.

Word Origin:
The verb acquire comes from Latin "acquirere" means get in addition, from "ad" means "to" and "quaerere" means seek.
The word "question" also drives from the same Latin word "quaerere".
Attain comes from Latin "attingere"; the verb is combined form of "ad" meaning "at, to" + "tangeere" means "to touch".
The verb retain is also driven from the same Latin word, "re" means "again" and "tangeere" means "to touch", meaning to touch again or to control again.

In a nutshell
The verb acquire is used when you mean gaining one or other things continuously.
The verb attain means getting an achievement or reaching a goal.
You acquire knowledge or skill to attain a degree or a achievement.

The correct answer is attained.
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