I was recently translating a subtitle and I couldn't totally get the meaning of this sentence:

Coffee is something I drink every day; But I never take it for granted.

I'm not sure if she's talking about not knowing the value of it, or if she has no expectation from her coffee, or something else.

Thank you


Well since it's hard to tell the true meaning of it without more context, here's the whole dialog:

Coffee is something I drink every day. But I never take it for granted. There’s always this moment when I’m holding the cup of coffee. I’m, like, grateful for it... and then there’s just this moment there that feels... sacred.

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    "Granted" means "given", so she's saying she doesn't look upon her daily coffee "as a given". She appreciates that she has the privilege/luxury of drinking it, each time she does. She doesn't just assume coffee is provided each day, as she might assume the sun will rise every day (because that's a given). Huh, this is a surprisingly difficult concept to articulate, even though it seems (on its face) so simple.
    – Dan Bron
    May 6, 2015 at 20:56
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    @DanBron, spot on. 1 attaboy
    – Bob
    May 6, 2015 at 21:19
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    @Dan: From our vantage point, it's a matter of opinion exactly what the speaker meant. Perhaps she's not thinking about uncertainty of supply at all - perhaps she just thinks drinking coffee is such a good experience it should always be savoured, so she wouldn't casually down a cup while concentrating on something else. Like a oenophile would disapprove of swigging Chateau Lafite from the bottle at a baseball game (taking it for granted, treating it carelessly). May 6, 2015 at 23:07
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    @FumbleFingers Yes, that's what I meant (but has a hard time explaining): that she treats every cup as a special treat; and everyone knows you shouldn't have any expectation of receiving special treats, because (a) you'll often be disappointed and (b) if you're not disappointed, you sure are ungrateful.
    – Dan Bron
    May 6, 2015 at 23:36

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure if she's talking about not knowing the value of it, or if she has no expectation from her coffee, or something else.

Without more context it is impossible to know for sure. Strictly, the sentence would be interpreted that she does not take for granted the supply of coffee every day, however that would be somewhat unusual - how hard is it to find a cup of coffee? Not very. That's why the context is important - maybe she is living in a war zone or in uncertain economic times where the available of a mere cup of coffee may be under threat.

More likely she is referring to the effect drinking coffee has - for many people it is an essential part of the morning ritual, they simply cannot function without it. So she might be saying she values her morning cup of coffee, and does not take for granted the special effect it has on her day.

Why is this even worth commenting on? Because when you take something for granted it becomes ordinary and ceases to be special or unique - so saying "I don't take X for granted" is really a euphemism for saying how much you value X and how special X is to you - even if the "supply" of X is never really in question or doubt.

  • I've added her complete dialog; if you could take a look May 8, 2015 at 10:27
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    @FarzanBalkani "I’m, like, grateful for it... and then there’s just this moment there that feels... sacred." Yes, she is saying how special it is to her. Saying "I dont take it for granted" is a way of saying it is special to her, not ordinary. I don't think this is a particularly common euphemism though - it is usually used towards people, as in "My wife is such a good mother and cook, but I don't take her for granted". This means not only is the wife "special", but he also realizes he needs to treat her well to keep her - otherwise she may be gone.
    – aaa90210
    May 8, 2015 at 10:38

To take sb/smt for granted means we don't value a thing or person and we expect them to continue as they are. If there is no drought but plenty of water, we don't know the value of water: we take it for granted. If an employee works long hours without being asked, normally we don't value him because we we expect he will continue to do this. We are taking him for granted.


I don't think it is the coffee itself, it is what the coffee symbolizes -- her normal life. She is grateful for her life as it is, and realizes -- maybe only unconsciously -- that it could all go to hell in an instant. (I thought opinions were verboten here; but everybody else's post on this one was an opinion.)

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