Distinguishing Between Giving & Given

Giving vs Given

Give is a frequently used English word in both spoken and written language. Giving and given are two forms of the word that often confuse learners of the language. Many listeners struggle to pick up the pronunciation and may think of one word when they hear the other. Give means to donate or transfer, but it can also mean to provide. The fact that these forms of give can become a noun or an adjective in different usage leads to confusion for students. This article will attempt to clarify the differences between giving and given.

Key Takeaways

  • Giving is a present tense of give, while given is the past participle of give.
  • Giving is an act of charity or generosity, whereas given also means inclined or being prone to.
  • Given is often confused with giving due to their similar pronunciation and can also refer to a fixed quantity or a specific time.


Giving refers to the act of presenting or donating something to someone. To give is to place something in the hands of a person, such as giving an object to someone. Giving can mean bestowing, awarding, dispensing, offering, ceding, handing out, granting, transferring, imparting, or presenting. It is an act that is the opposite or antonym of getting or taking something.

The word giving is also used in the phrase “giving up,” where the sense is to surrender or stop making efforts to achieve or put up a fight. Here are some examples:

  • I am giving a party in his honor.
  • He seemed to be giving in when brought under pressure.
  • He has this habit of giving gifts to the needy.


Many people confuse “give in” with “given,” where “give in” means to surrender or yield, while “given” refers to an adjective that stands for something fixed or specified, such as a given time or given amount. In general, though, given is the past participle of give and refers to the act of donating or handing over something. The adjective “given” refers to the fact that a person is known to have a peculiar quality, such as being given to making noises at the slightest of excuses or being prone to something. In math, “given” stands for a known quantity, as in “given A, B follows.” Here are some examples:

  • I have given a shirt on his birthday.
  • He is a man given to making noises in all situations.
  • It is given that all people are equal in the eyes of the law.
  • You should have arrived at the given time.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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