This is the second part of a two-part blog post focusing on words meaning ‘give’. The first post looked at phrasal verbs with this meaning. Here, we look at single words in this area.
Let’s start with the very common verb provide, meaning ‘to give something that is needed’:
All meals are provided at no extra cost.
You will be provided with the training needed for this role.
The verb supply is similar, but sometimes refers to a large quantity of something given or a longer period in which it is given: The proposed scheme would supply 100,000 homes with electricity.
To donate money or goods is to give them to an organization such as a charity or a political party:
The money for the centre was donated by local organizations and members of the public.
‘Donate’ also means ‘to give some of your blood or a part of your body to be used for medical purposes’. (The noun donor, meaning ‘a person who gives’ is used with both of these senses: a large gift from an anonymous donor; a blood / kidney donor)
If you contribute, you are one of a number of people who gives something, especially money or time, for a particular purpose:
Her family contributed $50,000 to the fund.
Meanwhile, if you distribute something, you give it to many people, usually so that each gets a fair amount:
The donated food is then distributed to food charities in the area.
We haven’t yet decided how to allocate the resources.
Roles can then be allocated to team members.
The board allotted $500 to the recreation center.
If someone is awarded something valuable, such as a prize or a contract, they are given it after an official decision:
She was 26 when she was awarded the prize.
The company was awarded a contract worth $20 by the federal government.
If someone is presented with something, they are given it officially, at a special ceremony:
Who will present the prizes?
There was an award ceremony where the winners were presented with medals.
Another ‘give’ verb means ‘to give too much’. If someone is inundated with something, they are given more of it than they can manage:
We’ve been inundated with offers of help.
Let’s end with a nice ‘giving’ idiom. In UK English, to supply something to a place or person that already has a lot of that thing is to carry/take coals to Newcastle. (In the past, Newcastle upon Tyne was a very big producer of coal in the UK.)
I’d bring cake or biscuits with me, but it would be like taking coals to Newcastle!
Does your language have a phrase that means the same as this?