At @2:27 of this motivational video, Narrator narrates this lines:

Narrator: You had to give it to him. He had a plan. And it started to make sense in a Tyler sort of way. No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.

Is "give it to him" here mean punish/scold Tyler for motivating in wrong way?

Source: Fight Club 1999


1 Answer 1


It means that you should give him credit ("it") for having a plan that made sense.
It is an approving statement, not like "punish/scold".

As pointed out in the comment below, "give it to him" can also mean to chastise or punish, or just to physically assault someone, but that is a different usage. Also, as pointed out in the comment, it's the opening of the phrase "You have to give it to somebody", that makes it clear that it means credit must be given.

  • 2
    But the expression give it to him can also be used to mean assault him. In this case it's the introductory words You had to..... that make the sense clear. Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 14:41
  • @RonaldSole That's worth editing into the answer. Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 15:03
  • You should point out these idioms, using the word idioms or idiomatic expression, as that then removes the grammar issue.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 30, 2020 at 17:18
  • @RonaldSole The whole paragraph is needed to make the sense clear! Contrast "You had to give it to him. He had a plan and it started to make sense." and "You had to give it to him. He had destroyed your life."
    – Stef
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 15:31

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