I found the following sentence in a students' book for learning business English: "Their shares will yield a decent dividend, given past form". The sentence is NOT in a context, it is just an example of using Future. However, I don't understand the meaning of the last phrase - "given past form". Could anyone help? Thanks for your time.

2 Answers 2


In short "given past form" means in one word historically, That is looking back these shares have consistently performed well in producing a relatively good dividend ratio.

Most dictionaries do not explain this well in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value-form you will see the term "form of value"

It is not simply that "money becomes the general expression of the form of value of goods being traded" there is a secondary meaning of "given past per-form-ance" similar to that used in "on form" similar to the way we use it for sport "His form this season has been brilliant"


This sentence is making a prediction about shares in the future.

Saying "given past form" is meant to qualify that this is not a guess, it is an assumption that is being made because of the way these shares have performed in the past.

"Form," in this sense, seems to mean: the way things are arranged or constructed in a pattern.

I more straightforward way to say this would be to say:

"We assume their shares will yield a decent dividend, because of how they have performed in the past."

  • In fact, the sentence is making a prediction but one based on (given) past performance.
    – Tuffy
    Nov 22, 2018 at 20:58

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