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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. Welcome back to Know Your Verbs. In this lesson, we're going to talk about the verb, "help."
The basic definition of the verb, "help" is to assist or to aid.
Let's look at the conjugations of this verb. Present tense, "help," "helps." Past tense, "helped." Past participle tense, "helped." Progressive tense, "helping."
Now, let's talk about some additional meanings of this verb. The first additional meaning, to make something nicer or to make something more pleasant, to make an experience better somehow. Examples of this. "Ah, that massage really helped my back ache." Another example, "I think it'll help if you restart your computer." In each of these sentences, we used the verb, "help" to show that something, some situation or some behavior caused another situation to become better or improved, more pleasant. In the first example, a massage improved my back, so it really helped my back ache means my back ache became more bearable, it's not so bad now. In the second example sentence, the speaker thinks that maybe restarting the computer will improve the computer's performance, will make the performance better so we use "help" in this way.
The second meaning is to avoid something. Let's look at some examples. "I'm sorry you fell down. I can't help laughing." "I can't help laughing," means I can't avoid laughing, it's just not possible. I can't avoid laughing, it just comes out. "I can't help laughing." Another example, "I can't help wondering what's the company going to do next." I can't avoid wondering, I can't to stop myself from wondering what is the company going to do next.
The third meaning of this verb is to serve, as in to serve food or drink. Let's first look at some examples of this and then we'll explain. "Please help yourself to anything you'd like." "Guests may help themselves at the buffet." With this meaning of "help," it means to serve. We often use, "Guests may serve themselves," guests may help themselves, we use help themselves, as in assist yourself in getting food or aid yourself in getting food. In other words, some one else is not going to do it for you so please help yourself, guests may help themselves to food. It means serve yourself. It's typically used in that way. "Help yourself." Guests may serve themselves.
Alright, the fourth meaning for this lesson is to take but without permission. So, taking something without permission. Let's look at the examples first. "I'll just help myself to this jar of cookies." "She helped herself to all the money in her mother's wallet." Here, we kind of see it as we're assisting ourselves or were aiding ourselves as opposed as in the previous example with food and drink. However, in this case, it means to do those things without permission. When using it to refer to like serving food or drink, there's permission to do that, "Help yourself," that's permission to take food and to take a drink. With this meaning of "help," however, it means there's no permission so it's often used with a reflexive pronoun. "She helped herself," "He helped himself to something." This is a small grammar point here actually. The subject of the sentence and the receiver of the effect of the action are the same person. So, "She helped herself," so "helped" is used reflexively here. "She," the subject of the sentence, the person doing the action is also the receiver of the action. "She helped herself to the money in her mother's wallet." You'll also see, "She helped herself to," "to" is used before the noun phrase here. "She helped herself to the money in her mother's wallet," or, "all the money in her mother's wallet." In the first example sentence, "I'll just help myself to this jar of cookies." We used "to" before the noun or the noun phrase that we are taking or using without permission.
Let's continue on to some variations of the verb, "help." The first one is "so help me," or "so help me God" is often used. "So help me God." We use this expression to mean believe it or not, I'll do something or something is going to happen. Some examples of this, "So help me God, I am gonna get that job." So, believe it or not, I am gonna get that job. Like, with everything in my power, whether you believe me or not, I'm going to get that job. It's a confident expression. Another one, "I am gonna open my own restaurant, so help me God." Whether you believe or not, this is my plan, I'm going to do this. This is my intention.
We started talking about the next variation a little bit. When I said, the word, "help" can be used to mean avoid, I said, "I can't help laughing," "I can't help wondering." There's a variation of this one which is "can't help but," "can't help but, verb." We use "can't help but" to also mean avoid. "Can't help but" means cannot avoid or cannot refrain from, cannot stop from doing something. Examples of this. "I can't help but cry when I see this movie." "He can't help but dance when he hears that song." In these example sentences, it's not possible not to do that action. It's not possible not to verb. "I can't help but cry," means I can't avoid crying, in other words. We can use the pattern introduced earlier in this episode, "I can't help crying when I watch this movie." Both are fine to use, just note the grammar is a little different. "I can't help but cry," or, "I can't help crying." In another example sentence, "He can't help but dance," "He can't help dancing." The grammar changes a little bit but the basic meaning remains the same. Actually, both of these sentences are correct and they maintain the same meaning so it's up to you to decide which you want to use.
Alright. I hope that helps you understand the word, "help" a little more. If there are any other variations or any other meanings you know of, please feel free to let us know in the comments, along with any example sentences or any questions you might have. If you liked the video, please make sure to give it a thumbs up, help us out by subscribing to us on this channel and check us out at EnglishClass101.com for some other good resources. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Know Your Verbs and I'll see you again soon. Bye.

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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Can you make a sentence using the verb "help"?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 07:11 AM
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Hello Shelly,


I hope you are finding a lot of success with your studies with us!


Feel free to shoot through any questions you have throughout your studies.


With good wishes,

ร‰va

Team EnglishClass101.com

Shelly
Friday at 05:20 PM
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๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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Friday at 02:28 PM
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Hello Sabri,


Thanks for taking the time to write to us! ๐Ÿ˜„


Please feel free to shoot through any questions you have throughout your studies.


Sincerely,

ร‰va

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Sabri
Tuesday at 05:33 AM
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So help me God, I am gonna win this race.

I canโ€™t help but eat because I am starving.

Sabri
Tuesday at 05:29 AM
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How can I help you?

So help me God, I am gonna this race.

EnglishClass101.com
Monday at 07:25 PM
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Hello Adam,


Thankyou for your post. ๐Ÿ˜„


To find out what level you are, you will have to complete your assessment test through the dashboard of our website. This will give you a great place to start studying at your current skill level.


Please let us know if you have any more questions.


Cheers,

Eva

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adam
Wednesday at 11:03 PM
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๐Ÿ‘thank you it is okay


one things I don not understand is which level iam sir ?

thank you

EnglishClass101.com
Friday at 03:51 PM
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Hello Mimi,


Thank you for your post and I hope I can be helpful to you.


'To take without permission' is essentially to 'steal' - it means to take something that is not yours without asking if you can. In this situation, the character took some cookies without asking the owner of the cookies if they could have some.


Please let me know if you have any more questions.


Cheers,

Eva

Team EnglishClass101.com

mimi
Wednesday at 12:15 PM
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This lesson would help my English skill.

mimi
Tuesday at 10:48 AM
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Hi! I'm sorry but I don't understand the part of

"to take without permission".

what are those two sentences meanings?

I don't get the situation.

I'll just help myself to this jar of cookies... She helped herself to all the money in her mother's wallet!