I'm not a native English speaker and always get confused with this expression. For instance:

Me: What's the current state of [some subject] discussion?
Bob: There is none. It was brought up in the past and was rejected.
Me: Last time I checked, it seemed like we couldn't decide which route to take for [specific topic].
Bob: there you go :-)

If it wasn't for the smile emoticon I would be in trouble to interpret it was a positive reaction though I still don't know what it means exactly.

It happens in other contexts too and I usually pretend I understand it. What does it usually mean?

  • There you go:dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/there-you-go – user5267 Feb 5 '15 at 15:01
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    ... Josh's example is of the 'But there you go' usage. Here, there's a slight hint of correction, the 'See what I mean!' sense. But the expression can also be used to mean 'I told you this was the case / I told you this would happen / I told you a way would open up for you [so dive in]' (but without any hint of scolding). – Edwin Ashworth Feb 5 '15 at 15:07
  • I'm even more confused now. See answer below :) – marcio Feb 5 '15 at 17:15
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    @marcio, not to confuse you even more, but "There you go!" can be used as an encouragement as well. Example, you are trying to help your son learn to juggle a soccer ball. After many failed attempts, he finally manages to bounce the ball more than once on his knee. "There you go!" – Kevin Feb 5 '15 at 18:12
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    Please give a question at least 24 hours for responses before accepting an answer, even if you get a good one right away. For info about why this is helpful, please see “Not so fast! (When should I accept my answer?)”. – Ben Kovitz Feb 5 '15 at 21:17

In this same case, he might just as well have said “exactly”, “you got it”, or “case in point”.

Saying any of these–including “there you go” as a flat interjection–is a way to point out the similarity of something said before to what was said just now, especially when the latter is a specific example or proof of the former.

If he wanted to spell out his sentiment thoroughly, he might have said something like “That’s the exact nature of the problem that caused it to be rejected when it came up before. You and I actually understand the situation the same, even though we are saying apparently different things about it.”

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  • LOL, "case in point" is what I was trying dredge out of my poor, tired brain but couldn't quite find it! +1 – Cyberherbalist Feb 5 '15 at 22:35
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    The most straightforward meaning of 'there you go' or 'there you are' is when you give someone something. "Can you pass me that cake, please?" "There you go!". So the reason we say "there you go" when someone says something that is a good proof or example of a situation is that they have (metaphorically) "given" themselves the proof or summary. – topo Reinstate Monica Feb 6 '15 at 9:06
  • Some of the OP's confusion may be due to the fact that this phrase was misused in the conversation. Bob originally said that something was rejected, the OP replied that as far as he knew, no decision was made either way (accept or reject). To which Bob replies "there you go", apparently feeling that it was proof of what he had stated rather than a disagreement. So the phrase was misused. But this answer is correct. – Wayne Feb 6 '15 at 21:23

"There you go" in your example is used to indicate that "you've just demonstrated my point with what you've just said." It is slightly related to what @Jasper brought up, but does not generally indicate any censure or scolding -- although tone of voice may bring that in as well!

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There you go. = You just answered your own question.

I suppose you could say it's a sort of positive feedback on what you just said or did.

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The answers given are correct, but I'd like to offer a potential source of the phrase

"There you go" could be a short way of saying "You were going nowhere until I straightened you out. Now that I've straightened you out, you're starting to noticeably go somewhere."

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I think in this particular example, "there you go" means "I have nothing to add. You have said all that needs to be said. "

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In the original poster's example, "There you go" effectively means "Q.E.D." The emoticon is to "take the sting out of" winning a small argument. The implied proof is "and since we are not about to decide which route to take any time soon, that means that we cannot move forward with [some subject], so of course there is no progress on [some subject]. The current status is equivalent to its having been tabled or rejected."

In American English, "There you go again" is a mild (but utterly polite) scolding. The most famous American example of this phrasing was during a 1980 presidential debate.

President Jimmy Carter: …. These are the kinds of elements of a national health insurance, important to the American people. Governor Reagan, again, typically is against such a proposal.

Mr. Howard Smith: Governor?

Governor Ronald Reagan: There you go again. When I opposed Medicare, there was another piece of legislation meeting the same problem before the Congress. I happened to favor the other piece of legislation and thought that it would be better for the senior citizens and provide better care than the one that was finally passed.

In this context, "There you go again" is a gentle way of saying, "You keep making that mistake." Reagan implies that Carter has bad habits of confusing means and ends, and of not understanding alternate viewpoints.

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    I'm afraid "there you go again" is not an equivalent expression for "there you go". – marcio Feb 5 '15 at 17:14
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    There you go, as used in your question, is equivalent to you've just proved my point, as Edwin Ashworth states. Or, as we used to say, intuitively obvious, even to the most casual observer, IOETTMCO. – DrMoishe Pippik Feb 5 '15 at 17:27

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