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What’s The Difference: Attainable Vs. Obtainable? (Details)

What’s The Difference: Attainable Vs. Obtainable? (Details)

These two words may appear to have the same meaning, but in fact, they each have distinct differences. To better understand the differences between attainable and obtainable, let’s first look at the meaning of each word individually.

Attainable refers to something that can be achieved or accomplished with effort and dedication. Obtainable, on the other hand, refers to something that is available or easy to get.

Both of these words can be used in different contexts, but they are generally used in similar situations. To better understand when and how each should be used, let’s take a closer look at the two words in more detail.

Understanding The Meaning

The words attainable and obtainable sound similar, and they can be used in many of the same contexts. However, understanding the nuances between them is important if you want to use these words correctly.

Meaning Of Obtainable

Obtainable refers to something that is able to be acquired or accessed. This term means that you can get something, even if it might not necessarily be easy or simple.

Meaning Of Attainable

Attainable means something that is achievable or reachable if certain conditions are met. This implies a level of difficulty that must be overcome before success can be obtained. It also implies a greater degree of effort and dedication than what is necessary for something to simply be obtainable.

Understanding the Meaning of Attainable and Obtainable
Understanding the Meaning of English phrases is way easier for native speakers

In short: Obtainable is used when talking about acquiring something you could really get your hands on, while attainable speaks more to reaching a goal or milestone through achievement or hard work—as long as it’s within reason or within your control.

The Difference Between Attainable And Obtainable

It may seem like “attainable” and “obtainable” are interchangeable terms, but there is a subtle difference between them. The following video will shed light on those differences:

The Difference Between Attainable and Obtainable
  • Attainable is defined as “capable of being achieved or accomplished, reachable,” while obtainable is defined as “capable of being got or obtained.”
  • Something that is attainable means that it can be achieved through hard work and dedication. So what you want to do is focus on making your goal attainable by determining what steps are necessary to bring it closer to reality. On the other hand, something that is obtainable means that it has been acquired. In this case, you have focused on the process of obtaining the goal, rather than making it a reality.
  • To summarize, if you want something to be achievable and within your reach, make it attainable by creating an action plan and then taking steps toward making it happen. But if you already have the goal in hand and want to ensure you keep it with minimal effort, then make sure it’s obtainable by taking measures to protect what you already have.
DefinitionRefers to something that can be achieved or reached, usually through effort or skill.Refers to something that can be acquired or gotten, typically through a process or action.
UsageOften used when talking about goals or achievements that require personal effort or growth.Frequently used when discussing items, resources, or information that can be acquired or accessed.
ExamplesBecoming fluent in a foreign language is an attainable goal with consistent practice. A high level of fitness is attainable through regular exercise and a healthy diet.The book is obtainable at the local library. A permit is required to make the resource obtainable.
SynonymsAchievable, reachable, possible, feasibleAccessible, available, procurable, acquirable
What’s the Difference: Attainable vs. Obtainable?

Factors Affecting Attainability And Obtainability

Attainability and Obtainability
Factors Affecting Attainability and Obtainability

The terms ‘attainable’ and ‘obtainable’ are often used interchangeably, but they don’t always mean the same thing. There are certain factors that can affect the likelihood of something being attainable or obtainable.


One factor is resources. If a goal requires a lot of resources in order to be achieved, then it may not be attainable. For example,

  • if you wanted to buy a house but didn’t have the money for it, then it would be unobtainable you simply don’t have the resources (money) to get it.
  • However, if you had access to enough money, then the same house could become obtainable.


Another factor is time. Something may be obtainable but not attainable because of a time limit or deadline associated with achieving it. If something has an expiration date, it might be obtainable up until the time mentioned on it. After that you can no longer get it – then it becomes unattainable.


A third factor is the skills and expertise needed to achieve a goal. For instance, many jobs require specific skills and applicants must demonstrate they possess those skills. Even if someone has access to all the other resources needed for a job – if they lack the right skill set, then this job is unattainable for them at that moment in time.

When To Use Attainable Vs. Obtainable

While both words indicate that something is available or achievable, they differ in the degree of difficulty associated with that achievement.


The word ‘obtainable’ implies that something can be acquired relatively easily. It suggests that there are few obstacles in the way of success or acquisition.

For example: “This job requires a high school diploma; it is obtainable for most people.”


On the other hand, the word ‘attainable’ indicates that something may not be easy to acquire and may involve more effort or time to achieve. It suggests a greater degree of difficulty than ‘obtainable’.

For instance: “For those who are determined to do hard work, even a tough college degree would be totally attainable.”

Making Your Goals Attainable And Obtainable

It can be confusing when trying to differentiate between ‘attainable’ and ‘obtainable’, and why it’s important to understand the difference in order to achieve success.

Goals Attainable and Obtainable
Making Your Goals Attainable and Obtainable


Making a goal attainable is about being realistic about what you can achieve. As an example, setting expectations for yourself that you will become a famous actor in 3 months is not an attainable goal.

Understanding what you are capable of and setting achievable goals is key to staying motivated in order to reach success.


Making your goals obtainable requires planning ahead and creating a strategy that will lead you to fulfill your goals. For instance, if you have a goal of becoming an established actor over the next five years, your action plan may include taking acting classes, joining amateur theater groups, or attending auditions. These are all steps towards achieving your larger goal, which makes it more obtainable.

It’s important to remember that obtaining something doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s attainable – if a goal is out of reach due to how unrealistic it may be then efforts should be focused on identifying an obtainable path towards attaining the desired outcome. With clear goals, dedication, and dedication anyone can realize their dreams.


What is the difference between attainable and obtainable?

Attainable and obtainable are two similar words that refer to the ability to acquire or achieve something, but there is a subtle difference between them.

How can I distinguish between attainable and obtainable?

Attainable refers to something that is within one’s reach or achievable through effort and perseverance.

On the other hand, obtainable refers to something that is available or accessible, but it may not necessarily require effort to acquire.

Can you provide an example of something that is attainable?

Yes, an example of something that is attainable is learning a new language. While it may require effort and dedication, it is something that is within reach if one puts in the time and effort.


  • In conclusion, remember that attainable and obtainable are two words with distinct meanings.
  • When something is attainable, it is within your capability to gain it. When something is obtainable, it is available to be acquired.
  • So, the next time you’re looking to express the idea that something is achievable, or that it can be acquired, take the time to consider which word is the most appropriate.
  • Using attainable and obtainable correctly will ensure that the message communicated is clear and concise.

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