“Giving” and “given” are two forms of the word “give.” Knowing how to use each word correctly and in the proper context can be challenging. This page clearly explains the tenses in which to use the words and provides examples to see the terms in context.
When to Use Giving or Given
The word “given” is the past participle of “give”. It is used in the present and past perfect as well as in passive sentences. The term “giving” is the present participle of “give” and is used in any active continuous tense.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary contains many definitions of the word “give”, the most prominent being “to present something to someone” or to “put something in the possession” of someone else. It can also mean “offering” something such as a service or public performance.
The following charts show the different tenses that “given” and “giving” can be used in the different tenses.
When to use “giving”:
|I am giving a class in etymology this afternoon.
|I was giving class when my phone rang.
|Present Perfect Continuous
|She has been giving classes for thirty years.
|Past Perfect Continuous
|She had been giving classes for thirty years when she retired.
|Will you be giving class tomorrow?
|Future Perfect Continuous
|How long will you have been giving classes in that school by the end of the year?
A “giving” can also be a noun which means “an offering” of some kind, or it can be an adjective to describe people who “give” a lot to others.
When to use “given:
|I have given three classes already today.
|I had given him my advice, but he didn’t listen and quit his job.
“Given” is also used in passive sentences, as shown below. Please scroll down to the “Given” section for a fuller list of passive tenses.
Active – He gave her a birthday present.
Passive – She was given a birthday present by him.
The word “giving” is the present participle of “give” and is used in continuous tenses. It also has two other meanings, one as a noun to mean “an offering” and as an adjective to describe a person who “gives” to others.
Here are some examples of how to use “giving” in a sentence:
As a verb
- He has been giving his all this year, so I think we should reward him.
- I am giving a conference on COVID next week.
- She had been giving all her money to her ex-husband until we told her not to.
As a noun
- The man made a charitable giving to the RSPCA
- Making a financial giving to the local church at Christmas makes me feel helpful.
As an adjective
- He is such a giving man. He always helps the poor and homeless by giving them food.
- She is hugely giving in nature and never thinks about herself.
As we can see in the Cambridge Dictionary, the word “given” is the past participle of the word “give” and has several other meanings as an adjective or noun.
As a verb, it is used in the present and past perfect verb tenses and in passive sentences of all kinds.
The following chart shows some of the passive tenses and how they would use the word “given”:
|He is giving a history seminar this week.
|A history seminar is being given by him this week.
|He has been giving a history seminar all week.
|A history seminar has been given by him all week
|He will be giving a history seminar next month.
|A history seminar will be given by him next month.
There are other uses of the word “given” which are slightly different:
As a noun – “Given” means something that is certain to happen.
As an adjective – “Given” means something already arranged or decided, such as a time or place.
As a preposition – “Given” means to know or “consider” something, similar to “bearing in mind.”
- It is not a given that any team will win the World Cup; it could be anyone.
- It is a given that he will be late; he is always late.
- If you cannot arrive at the given time, don’t bother coming.
- She calls at any given time of day. Sometimes in the middle of the night.
- Given that he eats a lot of sugar, it is not surprising that he is overweight.
- Given that she isn’t here, you can tell me what she told you.
Which Is Used the Most?
The Google Ngram shows us that “given” has always been more popular than “giving.”
This trend is probably because of the alternative meanings of “given”, which are more frequent than the alternative meanings of “giving.”
Giving or Given the Current Situation?
The correct term is “given the current situation”, which means something similar to “considering” or “bearing in mind” the current situation. In this example, “given” is used as a preposition, as shown in the “given” section above.
- Given the current situation, let’s call for help, or we will die on this mountain.
- Given the current situation, I think you should keep your distance for a few days.
Giving or Given the Fact?
The sentence “given the fact” is correct, and the word “given” acts as a preposition that means something similar to “considering.” It is like saying, “because this thing is a certain way”, something else must be “like this.”
- Given the fact that you are not going, I am not going either.
- Given the fact that the climate is warming, companies should do more to reduce emissions.
“Giving” and “given” are forms of the verb “give”, and they also have several other meanings. “Given” is used in the past and present perfect, in passive sentences, and as a noun, adjective, and preposition. Whilst, “giving” is used in continuous tenses and as a noun and adjective.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.