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The words “gift” and “present” are often used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle difference between the two words.
A gift is something that is given without expecting anything in return.
A present is a gift that is given in order to celebrate a special occasion or to show appreciation for something.
For example, if your friend took you on a trip, you might give them a cool present, like a custom map of the place that they took you, as a way of saying thank you. In this case, there would be no expectation of receiving anything in return.
This would be a gift.
However, if you gave your boss a gift card to his favorite store as a way of asking for a raise, you would be giving them the gift card with the expectation of getting something in return (in this case, more money).
This would be a present.
The word “gift” comes from the Old English word “gift,” which means “give”.
The word “present” comes from the Latin word “praesentare” which means “to show”
The difference between a gift and a present is very subtle.
To summarize it in one sentence:
When giving, if you are expecting something in return technically it is a present, if you are not then it is a gift.