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  1. angliholic's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile Could you help me out

    John: Could you help me out?
    Mary: Sure. What do you need?
    J: I need help with hanging this picture.
    M: Oh, sure. I'll lift it up for you.



    For a start, what does out refer to in the above conversation?
    Second, is with optional or must it be deleted? Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: Could you help me out

    1-John has a problem and wants Mary to "get her out of it"
    2-It is optional, it is just like when saying "I have difficulty (in) understanding you."

    I'm neither a teacher nor a native speaker of English, so you had better wait for one to give you more satisfying answers, and I too will wait for them to see if they'll confirm my answers. :D

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    #3

    Re: Could you help me out

    Sometimes words that are usually prepositions can function as particles, words with no clear semantic purpose other than to help form phrasal verbs.

    The plane will take off soon.
    I will look up his phone number.

    Sometimes, such as in your examples, the particles are optional.

    Could you help me [out]?
    I need help [with] hanging this.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #4

    Re: Could you help me out

    Quote Originally Posted by Super Sonic View Post
    1-John has a problem and wants Mary to "get her out of it"
    2-It is optional, it is just like when saying "I have difficulty (in) understanding you."

    I'm neither a teacher nor a native speaker of English, so you had better wait for one to give you more satisfying answers, and I too will wait for them to see if they'll confirm my answers. :D
    1. I think you did pretty good. I think you chose a simple way to describe the situation. He is in trouble and wants help to get out of it.

    2. There is no change of meaning when you remove the "with" in this particular sentence but sometimes it is NOT optional .

    I need help with this. Here the preposition is absolutely necessary

    I need help this makes no sense.

    However when you add a gerund as the object of the preposition, the preposition seems optional

    I need help (with) hanging this picture.
    I need help with the picture.
    I need help the picture.

    Perhaps someone else can explain why. I don't think "help with" is a phrasal verb. But even if it is this would not explain why it is optional in one case and not in another.

    Sorry I haven't been much help on this second part. Maybe someone else can explain this.

  2. angliholic's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Could you help me out

    Thanks, my kind friends, for your help.

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