10 Most Common Collocations with Achieve



Means to successfully bring about or reach a goal. The goal can be reached in any way, it can be by effort, by skill or by courage.

Achieve is a word used often in English. There are many collocations for achieve. Here are some of the most often used.

1. Achieve a goal

Means to reach a goal that one has set for themselves. This collocation can be used to talk about any goal, but it is most often used when someone is talking about something that they want to accomplish in the future.

  • Is there a goal that you’d like to achieve?
  • I finally have achieved my goal of becoming a firefighter.

2. Achieve an objective

Refers to accomplishing or finishing something specific. It isn’t always the case, but an objective usually refers to something that is a part of a larger goal.

Often times there are many objectives. In this case objectives would be smaller tasks that come together to achieve something larger.

  • We are here to achieve the following objectives.
  • Without achieving this objective, I don’t think we’ll be able to accomplish the larger goal.

3. Achieve a result

Refers to wanting a certain outcome to happen. This phrase isn’t as focused on  making a certain goal happen, as much as getting the result. It doesn’t matter how the result happens, as long as it happens.

  • I don’t care what we have to do to achieve the result, just get it done.
  • Before we go into the meeting we need to be clear on how we are going to achieve the result that we want.

4. Achieve success

Means to reach a goal or  point that is successful. A person can become successful or an entity or organization can become successful.

  • Now that I have this job I finally feel like I’ve achieved success.
  • I’m not sure what I have to do to achieve success in the eyes of my father.

5. Achieve a target/ Achieve a standard

Means to reach a certain predetermined point. In this case someone has set a mark and the goal is to reach it. These phrases can also be used to say that the goal was already reached in the past or that it will be reached in the future.

  • I want to achieve the standard that my predecessor set.
  • If you can’t achieve the standard that the company has set, they will fire you.
  • The runner was trying to achieve the target number by the end of the month.
  • The department is trying to achieve a higher target this month.

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6. Achieve one’s potential

Means they reach the level that someone’s abilities allows them to reach. Potential refers to something that someone is able to do in the future based on their ability.

This phrase can refer to someone who has already reached their potential (or ability). It can also refer to someone’s future ability to reach a certain level. The word “one” is usually replaced by a name or pronoun.

  • Everyone is waiting for John to achieve his potential.
  • She finally feels like she’s achieved her potential.

7. Achieve excellence

Refers to someone reaching the highest levels of success in their field.

  • Michelin stars tell the world that a chef or restaurant as achieved excellence.
  • The actress is receiving a lifetime achievement award to recognize her achievement of excellence.

8. Achieve recognition

Refers to someone or a group being noticed or singled out because of something that they have done. It could be for a good reason or for a bad one. This is usually something that is used to speak about  something that is positive.

  • The scandal caused the politician to achieve recognition for all of the wrong reasons.
  • After years of being out of the limelight he finally achieved the recognition that he deserved.

9. Achieve notoriety

Also means to have gained recognition or become famous, but in this case it is for a negative reason.

  • The criminal organization achieved notoriety for being brutal with their enemies.
  • The city worker achieved notoriety for stealing from the city.

10. Achieve a reduction

Refers to meeting a goal to lower something. This phrase is usually used to  say that there is less of a negative thing. So achieving a reduction in something is a positive accomplishment.

  • The city has finally achieved a reduction in its crime rate.
  • We’re hoping that we will be able to achieve a reduction in the amount of stray dogs.

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