In an exercise I came across the following sentence:

Mis colegas dan por supuesto que yo termino el trabajo.

I wonder about the expression dan por supuesto. I learned that dar is most frequently used as to give but I know that it may have different senses.

I would guess it just means assume and thus could be replaced with suponen:

Mis colegas suponen que yo termino el trabajo.

Is that true? If yes, is the former sentence just a somewhat more formal way. What could be a proper translation? My guess would be to proceed from the assumption.
If no, what does this expression mean?

1 Answer 1


The phrase «dar por supuesto» roughly translates as “to take as granted”. Note that English “take out” or “take away” might have a similar meaning as «dar», and yes «dar por supuesto» and «suponer» have a very similar meaning, with the subtle meaning shift you already guessed.

Other similar constructions with «dar»:

dar por hecho (assume it is a fact)

dar por sentado (agree or assume an agreement was done)

dar por muerto (believe somebody is dead, left behind somebody assuming he/she is dead)

dar por perdido (stop searching something, assume it is lost)

You probably get the common theme.

  • According to meanings 7 and 8 of dar in RAE, dar can mean "Convenir en una proposición" (agree in a proposition) or "Suponer, declarar, considerar". I think those meanings fit in this case.
    – MikMik
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 7:25
  • Does "dar" here still have the literal meaning of "to give", i.e. do you say "to give something for granted" or "to give as a fact" or "to give someone as dead", or would you say that this sense of "dar" has nothing to do with the idea of "to give". I wonder because bilingual dictionaries put out a lot of translations for "dar" which do have nothing in common. I'm used to the fact that you mostly can derive from one meaning to another one, sometimes with a subtle shift, sometimes you need to take a great leap; but here it rather seems to be the opposite: to give - to take.
    – Em1
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 8:34
  • En mi experiencia he usado mucho las frases de ejemplo que tu utilizas, pero nunca dan por supuesto aunque la entiendo igual, lo que me suena rara Commented Nov 17, 2013 at 23:29
  • 'Dar por supuesto' is standard in Spain.
    – Envite
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 9:42

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