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Given vs. Taken: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 7, 2023
"Given" refers to something provided or granted, while "Taken" means something has been acquired or accepted by someone.

Key Differences

"Given" and "Taken" are two verbs that seem closely related due to their participatory nature, but they highlight two sides of a transaction. "Given" generally signifies the act of bestowing, providing, or allowing. When something is given, it is willingly handed over without the expectation of return. In its essence, "Given" focuses on the source or donor, emphasizing the act of generosity or provision.
On the contrary, "Taken" underscores the receiver's side of a transaction. When something is taken, it is accepted, acquired, or even seized. This term might not always imply willingness on the part of the giver. Instead, "Taken" shifts the focus to the person or entity acquiring or receiving, emphasizing acceptance or possession.
Moreover, while "Given" and "Taken" primarily describe actions, they can also serve other functions in a sentence. For instance, "Given" can be a preposition, meaning considering or taking into account (e.g., "Given the circumstances, we must act"). Meanwhile, "Taken" as an adjective implies being deeply affected by something, often emotionally (e.g., "She was taken by the story").
In summary, while both "Given" and "Taken" describe aspects of transfer or exchange, they spotlight different facets. "Given" concentrates on the act of providing, while "Taken" zeroes in on the act of receiving or acquiring.

Comparison Chart


Provided or granted
Acquired or accepted


On the source or donor
On the receiver or acquirer

Common Usage

Often used in the context of gifts or offerings
Commonly used in terms of acceptance or possession

Alternative Meaning

Can mean considering or taking into account
Can mean being deeply affected or emotionally captivated

Grammatical Function

Can serve as a verb or preposition
Typically serves as a verb or adjective

Given and Taken Definitions


Naturally having a certain characteristic.
She's a given talent in singing.


Acquired or accepted.
The book was taken from the shelf.


Specified or particular.
Meet me at the given address.


Understood in a specified way.
His actions were taken as a sign of guilt.


Used to introduce a factor or consideration in a discussion.
Given the weather, the event was postponed.


To have captured or seized.
The city was taken after a long siege.


Provided or bestowed.
A medal was given for bravery.


Deeply affected or captivated.
She was taken by the beauty of the scene.


Past participle of give.


Engaged or occupied.
The seat was already taken.


Specified; fixed
We will meet at a given time and location.


Past participle of take.


Granted as a supposition; acknowledged or assumed
Given the condition of the engine, it is a wonder that it even starts.


Infatuated; fond of or attracted to.
He was very taken with the girl, I hear.


Having a tendency; inclined
My neighbor is given to lavish spending.


(informal) In a serious romantic relationship.
I can't ask him out, she's taken.


Bestowed as a gift; presented.


Past participle of take


Something assumed or taken for granted
"It's a given that the writer of short stories will be keeping his day job" (Donald E. Westlake).


Understood in a certain way; made sense of;
A word taken literally
A smile taken as consent
An open door interpreted as an invitation


Inflection of give


Having possession gained especially by force or effort


Considering; taking into account.
Given the current situation, I don't think that's possible.


Be affected with an indisposition;
The child was taken ill
Couldn't tell when he would be taken drunk


A condition that is assumed to be true without further evaluation.
When evaluating this math problem, don't forget to read the givens.


Already arranged. en


Currently discussed. en


Particular, specific.
No more than three people can be in that space at a given time.


Assumed as fact or hypothesis.
Given that we will get the resources, what do we want to achieve?


(with to) Prone, disposed.
He was given to taking a couple of glasses of port at his club.


Granted; assumed; supposed to be known; set forth as a known quantity, relation, or premise.


Stated; fixed; as, in a given time.


An assumption that is taken for granted


Specified in advance;
A given number
We will meet at a given time and location


Acknowledged as a supposition;
Given the engine's condition, it is a wonder that it started


Having possession delivered or transferred without compensation


(usually followed by `to') naturally disposed toward;
He is apt to ignore matters he considers unimportant
I am not minded to answer any questions


Granted as a premise.
Given that he was late, he couldn't complain.


Do "Given" and "Taken" always imply willingness in a transaction?

"Given" usually implies willingness, while "Taken" might not always.

Can "Given" also be a preposition?

Yes, "Given" can mean considering or taking into account.

What does it mean if someone is "taken" by something?

It means they are deeply affected or captivated by it.

Is "Taken" always about physical items?

No, it can refer to emotions, ideas, or perceptions.

Does "Taken" always indicate a successful action?

Not always. It indicates acquisition, which can be passive or active.

What's the opposite of "Taken"?

In some contexts, "Given" can be the opposite, but it depends on the usage.

Can "Given" describe a specific detail?

Yes, like in "a given fact" or "a given detail."

Can "Given" refer to innate qualities?

Yes, it can mean naturally having a certain characteristic.

Is "Taken" only a past participle of "Take"?

Primarily, but it can also be an adjective, like in "I'm taken by the idea."

Can "Given" be used mathematically?

Yes, it's used to indicate known values or conditions.

Which term emphasizes the source in a transaction?

"Given" emphasizes the source or provider.

Can "Given" be used in the context of assumptions?

Yes, like in "Given that it's raining, we'll stay indoors."

Which term highlights the receiver's perspective?

"Taken" emphasizes the receiver or acquirer.

If something is "Taken for granted," what does it mean?

It means it's undervalued or assumed to always be there without appreciation.

Can "Given" mean "considering"?

Yes, like in "Given his age, he's quite active."
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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