What does the idiom "take sb for granted" mean?

The expression take sb for granted is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the take sb for granted idiom.

Meaning of "take sb for granted"


The idiom ‘take someone for granted’ means to assume that someone will always be there and always put up with one’s behavior. It implies that one is not giving due respect to their presence and is not taking them into consideration in one’s decisions or actions. Taking someone for granted often leads to lack of appreciation and gratitude.


The phrase 'take for granted' was first used in the 16th century and was derived from the Latin expression ‘gratia’ which means ‘grace’ or ‘favor.’ In the modern English, it is usually used with the prefix ‘take’ to denote a certain level of disrespect.


The phrase ‘take someone for granted’ is usually used to describe a situation in which a person assumes that the other person will always be there for them and does not show the same level of appreciation and respect. It could be used in both a positive and a negative context. For instance, a couple who are together for a long time could take each other for granted, which would be a negative context. On the other hand, a couple who have just started dating could take each other for granted in an endearing fashion, showing that they would always be there for each other.

Example Sentences

  • I’m tired of always being taken for granted by my friends - they never appreciate me or thank me for my help.
  • John and Jane have been together for 10 years, but they are still madly in love. They never take each other for granted.
  • I can’t believe I took my best friend for granted for so long - I should have shown her more gratitude and appreciation.

The meanings of the words in the "take sb for granted" idiom

The power of idioms transcends languages!

"Putting the cart before the horse" is an English idiom that means doing things in the wrong order. In Russian, the similar idiom is "Кладёт колесо впереди лошади," which translates to "Putting the cart before the horse." This idiom emphasizes the idea that doing things in the wrong order can lead to confusion and problems down the line.


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