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I don't understand the difference between "given that" and "provided that".

The tour wasn't as pleasant as we thought it would be, given that the coach broke down on the way.

[Source: CAE Book]

  1. Why can't I use provided that in place of given that in the above sentence?

  2. What's the difference between given that and provided that?

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2 Answers 2

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Given that in this sense really just means because. The above sentence means:

The tour wasn't as pleasant as we thought it would be because the coach broke down on the way.

Provided that means that some condition has to be met in order for something else to be true. An example might be:

We will have a pleasant tour provided that the coach does not break down.

Here, a pleasant tour will only be true if the condition the coach does not break down is met.

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  • Does 'given that' always mean because? Can we also use as long as in the above example instead of provided that? For example, We'll have a pleasant tour as long as the coach does not break down.
    – Lara
    Oct 12, 2015 at 11:35
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given that means knowing about or considering a particular thing .... In this case ...

The tour wasn't as pleasant as we thought it would be, given that the coach broke down on the way.

It means.... The tour wasn't as pleasant as we thought it would be, considering that the coach broke down on the way.

whereas, 'provided that' is used to replace if/only if eg. provided that the coach doesn't break down, our trip would be pleasant.

it means.. only if the coach doesn't break down, our trip would be pleasant.

(PS: I'm giving my CAE exam the next month )

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  • 1
    Welcome to ELU.SE. madhurima, while your answer is fitting, this site strives to provide objective answers. As it stands your answer seems purely subjective and could be improved by adding references. Take the tour or have a look at the help center to find out more about good answers.
    – Helmar
    Oct 8, 2016 at 9:27

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