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 Prize or Price?

One common mistake made by those who speak English as a second language is confusing the words price and prize. This may be because they are very similar in their sound and spelling, but also because many languages only have one word with two different meanings. For example, le prix in French and der Preis in German can refer to either an award or the monetary value of an item. In those languages you simply have to look at the context of the sentence.

 

The price of something is the amount of money it is worth:

 

Well, the price ranges from twenty-five to a hundred dollars.
Caption 54, Groucho Marx: You Bet Your Life

 

The price on this one was three dollars!
Caption 51, Jessica: on books

 

Price is also used metaphorically to talk about a sacrifice or consequence:

 

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
Caption 72, Barack Obama's Inauguration Day: Obama's Speech

 

A prize is an award given to recognize an achievement. It can involve money (prize money or a cash award), but not always. The Nobel Prize is a prominent example of a prize given on an international level. 

 

I smell the prize, I'm getting closer
Caption 14, World Cup 2010: For The Love Of The Game

 

There's no prize money, Gillian. 
Caption 6, Dream to Believe: aka Flying

 

Further Learning
Find some aspect of the usage of these words on Yabla English that will help you remember which one is which. For example, remembering that "Nobel Prize" has a "z" might help you remember that a "prize" is a type of award. Or perhaps remembering that "cents" as in "dollars and cents" is spelled with "c" will help you remember that "price," which has to do with money, is spelled with a "c" as well.

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