In Proceedings By Olga

Help! How to ask for help in English

All of us at least once in his life had to ask for help. Help — this is what sooner or later everyone needs, and therefore expression with these words in any language are numerous. English — is no exception, and in addition to the well-known CAN help and I help you? there are a lot of expressions associated with that word. Well, let’s see how we can use that word, and learn how to talk about help in English.


Use of the verb help

Let’s start with the grammar. Contrary to popular belief, that we are often taught in school, the word help can be used as a small part to, and without it:

He helped me to wrap the present for her birthday. — He helped to pack a gift for her birthday.

The secretary helped him fill out the application form. — The secretary helped him to fill in the registration form.

The verb help is most often used in reference to people. This is quite natural — after all, most care is seen as an act of goodwill on the part of others.

He devoted his life and time to helping the sick people around the world. — He has devoted his life to helping the sick around the world.

We can also use the word in relation to inanimate noun when we mean that something will be useful or useless in solving the problem.

Good sleep might help your headache. — Good night’s sleep can help you get rid of a headache.

Crying will not help. — Tears of sorrow will not help.

Synonyms for the verb help

Verb aid is not alone, he has several synonyms. For example, in formal language is often used the word assist. But often it is used to show that the work of helping the lighter side or not so important.

He assisted the professor with organization of the conference. — He helped (assisted) Professor in the organization of the conference.

If someone contributes something, in English for this action corresponds to the verb to abet. The verb means to aid to provide something useful to help. On the resource dailywritingtips.com you will find no less than 85 possible synonyms and phrases that indicate some kind of help. How many of them do you know?

In colloquial expression is often used to help out (or to lend / give a hand). It is closer in meaning to the Russian version of «rescue», but although the usual «help» is also often suitable as a translation.

Could you help me out and give a call to Jane? My battery is dead. — Could you help me out and call Jane? I sat down battery.

Occasionally I help out / give a hand at the grandpa’s home. — From time to time I help my grandfather at home.

The verb help is very productive and learn it — or rather the expression to which it is part — in one fell swoop, you can express a lot of ideas. It is especially useful gentlemen. So, for those who want to be courteous and gallant with women, gentleman set with the word help.

  • To help smb into / out of / across — help someone get into … / … get out / go through …
  • To help smb on / off with smth — help someone put on / take off the robe.
  • To help yourself to smth — treat yourself with something.
  • To give smb a helping hand — helping someone / lend a helping hand.

I do not need your help to get into the taxi. — I do not need your help to get into a cab.

Would you mind if I helped you with the coat? — Do you mind if I can help you with a coat?

Can I help you to some wine? — Can I buy your wine?

Please, help yourself to more cake. — Please, take more cake.

My sister is an angel. She has been giving me a helping hand with children since my second child was born. — My sister — angel. She helps me with the children from the moment he was born my second child.

Other meanings of the verb help

The word is associated not only with the help. In fact, it is often used to express ideas, far from the original meaning of the word. Here are some of them.

His appearance was so funny! I could not help laughing. — His appearance was so funny! I just could not help but laugh.

I can not help thinking that I have made a terrible mistake. — I can not stop thinking that he had made a terrible mistake.

From these examples we can see that the expression can not / could not help doing smth used in cases where the action is not subject to man as if he wants something to do, but can not.

There is another similar expression that is often used for the same purpose — to say that you could not refrain from any action, but is also used with a slightly different shade of meaning. Let’s look at some examples.

I can not help but eat after 6 pm — I can not help but to not eat after 6 pm.

Her mother could not help but notice a big bruise under her eye. — Her mother could not help but notice the large bruise under her eye.

I can not but mention this wonderful example of self-denial. — I have to mention this wonderful example of self-denial.

The design can not / could not help but do smth, as we have seen, often involves involuntary action, something that we can not do — that is, the action is so organic that the person does not even try to keep it.

Continuing this thought, it should be noted that the expressions with the verb often help convey the idea of powerlessness to stop something or things that are beyond our responsibility.

I can not help it if he fails the exam. — If you fail the exam, he — I had nothing to do with it.

She always gets nervous when she speaks in public, she can not help it. — It is always nervous when talking to an audience, it simply can not do anything about it.

They could not help the accident. — They could not prevent the accident.

List of expressions that will help us «to absolve themselves of responsibility»

Expression in English Translation
Can not / could’t help doing smth Being unable to refrain from any action
Can not / could’t help but do smth She can not do anything, can not help but make
Can not help yourself Not being able to cope with them
It can not be helped It’s nothing you can do

And yet the word help form a number of derivatives that are very useful in everyday speech. Here are some of them:

Expression in English Translation
A helper Assistant
A helpline Helpline
A helpmate Satellite / life partner
A helping Serve refreshments
Helpless Feckless
Helpful 1. utility (in some situations, most often about things)
2. The helpful, ready to help (the people)

Well, in the end can only wish that we have in life were always loyal and reliable assistants, and to ask for help had as little as possible!

 

Proceedings

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