something's gotta give

Voloshka

Senior Member
Russian, Ukraine
Hello! I always wondered what the phrase "something's gotta give" (there is a movie bearing the same name) could mean. Could anyone help me?

Thanks
 
  • pilko100

    New Member
    english - england
    The phrase has its basis in an older phrase 'give and take' which is used to suggest flexibility in relationships between people and/or organisations etc. If you take the inverse, that is it has no 'give and take' then the boundaries don't move and there is no 'budge'. Moving on, if you have a very large object such as a boulder and you are trying to move it you might say 'its got no give it wont budge'. Moving on a stage futher if you then have situation where there is a lot of stress or tension (physical or imaginary), imagine a tug of war with both teams pulling hard but no one is moving. you would say at this point 'that something's gotta give' meaning that either one of the teams will lose ground or the rope will snap (less likely)

    hope this helps
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Voloshka said:
    Hello! I always wondered what the phrase "something's gotta give" (there is a movie bearing the same name) could mean. Could anyone help me?

    According to Collins English dictionary, meaning number 19 of 'give' (intransitive) is 'yield or break under force or pressure'. Collins gives these examples 'This surface will give if you sit on it.' and 'His courage will never give'.
     
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