Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
English vocabulary slang shout out

Have you heard the word “give” used in multiple ways?

Have you heard somebody “give props” or “give a shout out?”

These are two English phrases that are used quite often, and we’re going to look at them. It’s important to learn English idioms if you want to become a natural speaker of English.

In this episode we will help you to tell the difference between these two phrases and how they are used.

You are also going to learn some other common idioms that use the word “give” in unique ways.

Hi guys,

I love you so much! I’m from Brazil but I’m a new resident in the US. I listen to your podcast everyday, and it really helps me a lot. I have a question I am hoping you can help me with.

What does it mean to “give props” to someone? Also what does it mean to say “shout out?” Is there a difference between these two expressions?

Have a great day!


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Breaking This Down

There are only slight differences between the two expressions used in the example above.

If you say “give a shoutout” this is something that you would say about somebody.

You wouldn’t say this directly to a person, but rather about them.

You are basically publicly recognizing somebody when you “give a shout out” to them and speaking about them.

If you are meeting somebody in person then you might say “I want to give you props” for something.

This is something you would say to recognize the person to their face.

You are telling them that they did a good job and “giving them props” to them in person.

So one is used in person directly, and one is used indirectly to give public recognition.

These are the little things you need to know about our language–it makes these phrases unique but also a bit confusing at times.

These are positive and generous types of idioms, and both use the word “give” in unique ways.

Different Idioms Using This One Word Give

You might be surprised at how many different ways you can use the word “give.”

It happens to be part of multiple idioms that you can use in conversation.

It has different meanings in each context, but it has a place of importance in each idiom.

  • To give somebody a hard time: This means to tease somebody or to make something difficult for somebody. You may be joking around and harassing them in a playful way. You may also be acting argumentative and making something difficult. Either way, you are giving them a hard time and challenging them in some way.
  • Don’t give me any of your lip: You would say this if somebody talks back to you. They are being sassy and talking back, and so this can be your natural response. This is a common phrase to use with a child in the teen years. Parents don’t want to put up with that sass and so they may use this phrase with a teenage child. This isn’t as commonly used, but it can be perfect for the parent and teenager type of scenario.
  • To give someone the benefit of the doubt: You assume that somebody is on the right track and that they are doing the right things. You have a choice to assume the worst or to assume the best of somebody. You can look past a mistake made and assume the best of this person that something else may have been going on. You make an exception for this person and you assume that they didn’t mean to make the mistake. When you give somebody the benefit of the doubt you know that they meant no harm and therefore are looking past a mistake or a temporary setback.

These phrases all use the word “give” in different ways.

You can see how it can be used in positive or negative ways in the examples provided.

Try using one of these and see how it works for you in your conversations.


There are multiple idioms using the word “give” in completely unique ways.

This one word happens to be a part of many different idioms, and so it’s a great word to use in conversation.

Each idiom has very different meanings and so they can each fit in different ways.

This is a great way to practice your English and to see how one word can be used in multiple ways.

Try using these idioms and see the impact they can have in your conversations.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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