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Recognize

Recognize means to identify someone you have previously known. It also means to give someone permission to speak in a formal situation, like a committee meeting.
At my mother's school reunion, she was able to recognize most of her former classmates. Apparently, they hadn't changed very much.
One of Jim's duties as mayor is to recognize citizens who want to speak at council meetings. The council allows fifteen minutes at the beginning of each meeting for this activity.
Recognition is the noun form. Prizes and awards are forms of recognition for excellence. There is a rare condition, called prosopagnosia, that makes it impossible for its victims to recognize faces, even those of people they know well.
Marie Curie received the recognition she so richly deserved for her work with radium when the Nobel Prize Committee awarded her the Nobel Prize.
Imagine being unable to recognize the faces of people you have known your whole life. That's the reality for people who suffer from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces.

Acknowledge

To acknowledge something is to admit that it is real or true. Acknowledge also means to confess that you have done something wrong, such as a crime or breaking your mother's favorite vase.
When early explorers returned from sailing around the world, skeptics had to acknowledge the fact that the Earth is not flat.
Faced with the evidence, Rob acknowledged that he was guilty of stealing sweets from the corner shop. Security camera pictures don't lie.
Acknowledgment is the noun form, and it means acceptance or recognition. A thank¬you note is an acknowledgement for receiving a gift.
Cinderella's acknowledgment that she was the owner of the glass slipper lost at the ball encouraged Prince Charming to ask for her hand in marriage.
Writing a personal thank¬you note to a person who has sent you a gift is a thoughtful way to acknowledge her consideration.

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