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All his hard work was rewarded when he received the first prize in the contest.

... first prize ...

... the first place ....

... first place ...

Hi,

Do all of the above sound right and mean about the same to you? Thanks.
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Hi Angliholic
I would say "received first prize".
I would tend to use first place this way: "...when he came in first place..." or "...when he took first place..."
Comments  
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Thanks, Amy.

What are the basic differences between "first prize" and "first place?" Thanks.
AngliholicWhat are the basic differences between "first prize" and "first place?"
First place is a position, i.e. you get first prize when you finish in first position (think Olympic 100 metres).