That's a Given: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
September 1, 2023

In our everyday conversations, we often use phrases that carry more meaning than the literal interpretation of the words. One such phrase is "That's a given." But what does it really mean, and where did it originate?

"That's a given" essentially means that something is a known fact or a certainty, something that's understood and doesn't need further proof or explanation.

In short:

  • "That's a given" refers to something that is unquestionably true or certain.

What Does "That's a Given" Mean?

When someone says, "that's a given," they are stressing the obviousness or certainty of a statement. It's like saying, "Of course!" or "Obviously!"

Here are some aspects of its meaning:

  • Indicates certainty or assuredness.
  • Highlights that something is known or established.
  • Used to stress the obviousness of a statement.

For instance, if someone remarks, "It's going to be cold in winter," another might respond, "Well, that's a given."

Where Does "That's a Given" Come From?

The origins of "that's a given" are somewhat unclear. The term "given" has been used in mathematical contexts to refer to a known quantity or a premise that is assumed to be true for the purposes of a particular discussion or problem-solving.

Over time, this mathematical usage likely influenced the idiomatic expression we use today. In mathematics, a "given" is something that's already known or provided. This concept eventually seeped into everyday language to indicate something obvious or certain.

10 Examples of "That's a Given" in Sentences

Understanding an idiom often becomes easier when you see it in various contexts.

Here are ten examples of how "that's a given" can be used:

  • If you eat a lot of sweets without brushing, you'll get cavities. That's a given.
  • That's a given that she will be the valedictorian, considering her grades and golden child status.
  • It's going to rain in Seattle. That's a given!
  • When you're in Rome, you visit the Colosseum. That's a given.
  • It is what it is. He'll be late to the meeting. That's a given with his track record.
  • That's a given that the sun rises in the east.
  • If you don't water plants, they will die. That's a given.
  • That's a given that he will bring his guitar to the campfire.
  • Quite frankly, he will cry during the movie. That's a given.
  • If you throw a ball up, it will come down. So it goes, that's a given due to gravity.

Examples of "That's a Given" in Pop Culture

While it's a common phrase in everyday conversations, the idiom has also made its way into pop culture:

  • In the TV show "Friends," Chandler often uses sarcastic remarks to convey obvious facts, and while he may not say "that's a given" verbatim, the essence of the phrase is often implied.
  • In the movie "The Social Network," the creation and success of Facebook are portrayed as inevitable, making the phrase "that's a given" apt, even if not explicitly stated.
  • Songs often touch on themes of love, heartbreak, and certain feelings being inevitable, thus implying the idea that "that's a given."

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "That's a Given"

While "that's a given" is a popular way to express certainty or an obvious fact, there are many other expressions and idioms referring to similar meanings.

Here are some alternatives:

  • It goes without saying
  • Of course
  • Naturally
  • Obviously
  • Undoubtedly
  • Certainly
  • It's clear
  • Without a doubt
  • It stands to reason
  • It's a sure thing

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "That's a Given":

  • What does "that's a given" mean?

It means that something is a known fact or a certainty.

  • Is the phrase commonly used in everyday conversations?

Yes, it's a popular idiom used to stress the obviousness or certainty of a statement.

  • Can it be used in formal writing?

While it's more common in informal speech, it can be used in formal writing when emphasizing a well-acknowledged point.

  • Are there other idioms similar to "that's a given"?

Yes, phrases like "goes without saying" or "of course" convey a similar meaning.

  • How can I incorporate this idiom into my daily vocabulary?

Start by using it in situations where you want to emphasize something obvious or certain to your listeners.

  • Is the idiom used globally?

While its usage is widespread, non-native English speakers might not be familiar with it, depending on their exposure to English idioms.

  • Do all English-speaking countries understand the idiom?

Mostly, yes. However, the level of familiarity might vary based on regional idiomatic expressions.

  • Are there any movies or shows where this idiom is prominently used?

It's often implied in various media but may not always be stated verbatim.

  • Is the idiom ever used sarcastically?

Yes, like many idioms, it can be used both literally and sarcastically depending on the context.

  • What are some mistakes to avoid when using the idiom?

Ensure you're using it in contexts where the fact or statement is truly obvious or certain to avoid confusion.

Final Thoughts About "That's a Given"

Idioms like "that's a given" enrich our language, making it more dynamic and expressive. They provide a unique way to convey messages without being overly verbose. Here's a recap:

  • "That's a given" means something is a known fact or certainty.
  • It's often used to emphasize the obviousness of a statement.
  • The phrase has roots in mathematics, where a "given" is a known quantity.
  • It's a popular idiom in everyday conversations and has found its place in pop culture as well.

Idioms play a crucial role in making languages colorful and lively. Understanding them not only aids in communication but also provides insights into cultural nuances and historical contexts.

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