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"?
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.
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.
Is there a teacher or a mothertongue who can help me understand the difference between these two verbs?
In my opinion "to back someone up" means to support them. It does not mean to help them out.
I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.