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  1. #1
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default back up and help out

    1) Jerry is the restaurant's main cook and Tanya backs him up/helps him out when there are plenty of people.
    2) Sonja said she would back me up/help me out if I complained about the new fill-in at work.
    3) Would you mind backing me up/helping me out? I need a hundred bucks within next weekend.
    4) We had a lot of work to do, so Maria helped me out/backed me up.

    In these kind of sentences both verbs mean: to lend a hand, to give help to someone.
    When these two verbs mean "to give a hand to someone", can they be used without distinction? Or are there any specific collocations to use with "back up" and others with "help out"?

  2. #2
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: back up and help out

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    1) Jerry is the restaurant's main cook and Tanya backs him up/helps him out when there are plenty of people.
    2) Sonja said she would back me up/help me out if I complained about the new fill-in at work.
    3) Would you mind backing me up/helping me out? I need a hundred bucks within next weekend.
    4) We had a lot of work to do, so Maria helped me out/backed me up.

    In these kind of sentences both verbs mean: to lend a hand, to give help to someone.
    When these two verbs mean "to give a hand to someone", can they be used without distinction? Or are there any specific collocations to use with "back up" and others with "help out"?
    Only #2 is a correct use of "back up".

  3. #3
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: back up and help out

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Only #2 is a correct use of "back up".

    Thanks so much for your answer but, why? what's the difference between the two?
    How to use them properly in right context? Because the definition of them, at least the one I found out on the dictionary, is quite similar... and in my language, Italian, these two verbs have just one verb to mean what in English is told with these two verbs...I'd like to learn how to use them correctly.

  4. #4
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: back up and help out

    Moreover, I think that in sentences like the ones I'm posting below the two verbs mean absolutely the same concept...and this is confusing me more...

    - The police officers are backed up/helped out by extra teams of people at the weekend.
    - I backed Susan up/helped Susan out at the restaurant when her sister was sick.

  5. #5
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: back up and help out

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    Moreover, I think that in sentences like the ones I'm posting below the two verbs mean absolutely the same concept...and this is confusing me more...

    - The police officers are backed up/helped out by extra teams of people at the weekend.
    - I backed Susan up/helped Susan out at the restaurant when her sister was sick.
    - The police officers are backed up/helped out by extra teams of people at the weekend. This one is OK with "back up".
    - I backed Susan up/helped Susan out at the restaurant when her sister was sick. This one isn't.

  6. #6
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: back up and help out

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    - The police officers are backed up/helped out by extra teams of people at the weekend. This one is OK with "back up".
    - I backed Susan up/helped Susan out at the restaurant when her sister was sick. This one isn't.
    Could you please add the reason of your correction? How to be sure about which one is correct and in which context they can be used?

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