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    #1

    Not if we can help it

    Hello,
    When someone answer "Not if we can help it". What does it mean?
    Thanks!

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Not if we can help it

    Quote Originally Posted by quacam09 View Post
    Hello,
    When someone answer "Not if we can help it". What does it mean?
    Thanks!
    What is the context?

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    #3

    Re: Not if we can help it

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    What is the context?
    Hello,


    Here is the context:



    Won't we need to get authorization for that?
    It depends... Only if we exceed our budget.
    But we will exceed it, won't we?
    Not if we can help it...


    Thanks!

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: Not if we can help it

    It means that they will do what they can to stop the thing from happening. (Going over budget, in this case.)

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    #5

    Re: Not if we can help it

    Quacam, please note that the context should have been given in post #1 - not #3.

    Rover

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Not if we can help it

    "help it" - 'help' is used strangely, almost opposite to its normal meaning, in this very useful idiom.
    "I can't help it" means "I can't prevent [myself from doing] it."

    A: "Why did you drive into the river?"
    B: "I couldn't help it. Someone removed the warning sign!"

    A: Stop crying! It's not that bad.
    B: I can't help it! (I can't stop crying)

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