If you’re looking to gain confidence look no further, as Tim Bowen shows how he gained a reputation as the master of Your English.

The verb gain is defined as ‘to get or achieve something; to get a benefit or advantage’. It can be used with various nouns that refer to knowledge, such as experience, idea, insight, knowledge, qualifications and understanding, as in ‘Students on work experience will gain some idea of what it is like to work in a busy office’ and ‘The course offers you the chance to gain an insight into the world of business and entrepreneurship’.

Gain is also used with a set of words that relate to recognition, namely acceptance, credibility, popularity, recognition and reputation, as in ‘In recent months the rebel group has gained a reputation for brutality in the areas of the country it controls’. If a person becomes more confident, they can be said to have gained confidence, as in ‘The scheme has helped young people gain confidence and acquire leadership skills’.

Gain also collocates with access and entry to mean to get the right to go somewhere, as in ‘Hackers routinely gain access to data on files and obtain confidential information such as bank account details’ or ‘Burglars use various methods to gain entry to properties’.

If you gain an advantage, you find yourself in a better position than a competitor or rival, as in ‘The software will enable businesses to gain an advantage over their competitors’.

If a process or an idea starts to make progress, it can be said to be gaining momentum, as in ‘UK house prices rose by 8.4% in 2013 as the economy started to gainmomentum’.