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I realized that in my academic writing I am using considering that and given that interchangeable. Here is an example:

Considering that there was ABC, this finding was expected.

Or,

Given that there was ABC, this finding was expected.

I wonder if these two sentences actually mean different things.

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    Not in all contexts.
    – Kris
    Mar 24, 2017 at 12:40
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    Just a note that I (British English speaker) find "considering that" sounds very awkward to the point of sounding foreign or ungrammatical, whereas "given that" sounds fine. Mar 24, 2017 at 16:48
  • @FrancisDavey You're spot on it seems, though interestingly up to a few decades ago it seems "given that" was unusual: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – talrnu
    Mar 24, 2017 at 17:11
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    I'll add that given truths set the foundation from which a line of reasoning can be started, while considerations can be used to start, modify, or branch from a line of reasoning. So the phrases "Considering..." and "Given..." have nearly identical meanings, but their usage still differs I think.
    – talrnu
    Mar 24, 2017 at 17:22

3 Answers 3

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No, they do not mean the same thing.

"Given that aardvarks have spleens, they will resist infection by encapsulated bacteria" means that you are assuming that aardvarks have spleens and are explaining the consequences of that assumption. You are not making any statement as to whether aardvarks actually have spleens, but you are acknowledging that whether aardvarks have spleens affects your claim and you are identifying your assumption.

"Considering that aardvarks have spleens, they are resistant to infection by encapsulated bacteria" means that you know aardvarks have spleens and are explaining the consequences of that fact. You are stating that there is reason to believe that aardvarks have spleens and that you are basing further claims on that reasoning.

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    Citations are required to substantiate that the conjunction 'given that' means 'assuming'. Mar 24, 2017 at 16:32
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    It could just easily be a fact that's given as it could be an assumption. You could just as easily be considering an assumption as you could a fact. This answer is incorrect.
    – talrnu
    Mar 24, 2017 at 17:07
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Considering and given that have almost the same meaning and can interchangeably act as a conjunction.

considering conjunction & preposition

Taking into consideration.

(as preposition) ‘considering the circumstances, Simon was remarkably phlegmatic’

( as conjunction) ‘considering that he was the youngest on the field he played well’

given that (conjunction):

when you consider something

It was surprising the government was re-elected, given that they had raised taxes so much.

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It seems that both are equivalent for all practical purposes, in the setting you provide.

One could possibly come up with examples where they differ, if they were not used at the beginning of your examples, thereby limiting the scope to the content of that sentence only. Limiting consideration to the two alternate examples that you do provide, no uncontrived candidate ABC comes to mind that would differentiate those two sentences to any significant degree.

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