Mr. Weasley was looking around. He loved everything to do with Muggles. Harry could see him itching to go and examine the television and the video recorder.

"They run off eckeltricity, do they?" he said knowledgeably. "Ah yes, I can see the plugs. I collect plugs," he added to Uncle Vernon. "And batteries. Got a very large collection of batteries. My wife thinks I'm mad, but there you are."

Uncle Vernon clearly thought Mr. Weasley was mad too.

According to Collins dictionary, "there you are" can mean:

a. an expression used when handing a person something requested or desired

b. an exclamation of triumph

It seems to me that the second meaning (b. an exclamation of triumph) might fit for the context, but I'm not quite sure. How should we understand "there you are" in this context?

3 Answers 3


"There you go" is idiomatic in British English, but doesn't really have one single meaning. In this context though, it is not really either of the definitions you found.

In this particular context, it shares at least some of the meaning of these similar expressions:

  • "There you go"
  • "There you have it"
  • "That's how it is"

In your example, "there you are" is being used to express the fact that the speaker cannot change the situation he has just described and has resigned himself to accept it. He appears to have some odd habits, and as a consequence, his wife thinks he is "mad" (meaning insane) and he accepts that he cannot do anything to change her perception.

The Cambridge dictionary gives this example for one definition of the similarly-used expression "there you go":

We didn't win the competition, but there you go - we can always try again next year.

You can see the similarity to your example. The speaker has presented an unfavourable situation, and "there you go" expresses their acceptance of it.

  • I feel this use of "here you are" sounds like "anyway" in some way, doesn't it?
    – dan
    Dec 5, 2018 at 21:27

I do not read it as an expression of exactly triumph, but rather one of dismissal. The field of meaning of that phrase in the colloquial style of British English used by Rawlings is probably a bit fuzzy. Moreover, the character is depicted as clownish and therefore not expected to be a master of careful thought and expression. The Potter books are great fun ("ekeltricity" indeed), but the dialogue is not designed to provide a model for learning English.

  • I think a Potter-fan or a Weasley fan, to be more precise, may have objected to "clownish" :) Or perhaps to the advice that these books are not intended to be a primer. We should let that downvote stay as a sign of the perils of online forums, so I won't remove it with the upvote it deserves.
    – TimR
    Dec 5, 2018 at 18:16
  • Fair enough about the perils of online forums. I suspect I know who gave the downvote, and her opinion matters not a whit to me. Dec 5, 2018 at 18:45

Mr. Weasley is proud of his very large collection of batteries, despite the opinion of his wife. So the second meaning (b. an exclamation of triumph) is fit for the context.

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