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  1. tkacka15's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Aug 2015
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    #1

    help it

    If a person is born of gloomy temperament they cannot help it. (Lord Chesterfield.)

    My question is: they cannot help what?

    Thank you.
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: help it

    You cannot help (see definition #6 here) being born that way.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: help it

    "It" refers back to whatever was mentioned earlier. It simply means there is nothing I can do to change it.

    I'm really pessimistic. I just can't help it.
    He never gets anything down from the top shelf. He can't help it - he's only 4ft 6.
    I drool whenever I see Johnny Depp. I can't help it. He's gorgeous!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #4

    Re: help it

    They cannot stop themselves from being gloomy- they have to live with that aspect of their lives.

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