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Speaking Exercise: Helping People

There are lots of English expressions to offer to help someone – and also lots of expressions to accept (or refuse) help. Take a look at our page on requests and offers, and the phrases below.

Offering help
We can say this when we want to offer help:
“Can I give you a hand?” or
“Would you like a hand?”

We can also use the phrase “if you like”:
“I’ll go shopping for you, if you like.”

Refusing help
Here are some things you can say if you don’t need help:
“Actually, I’m fine thanks.”
“Actually, I can manage thanks.” (if someone offers to do something for you which you can do without help)

Then you could add:
“Thanks for offering, though.” Or
“It’s very kind / sweet of you to offer, though.”

Accepting help
If someone offers you help (and you want it) say:
“Thanks – that’s very kind of you” or
“That would be lovely!” (if someone offers you something like a cup of tea)

Asking for something
To be polite, we often use the phrase “Would you mind…” or “If you wouldn’t mind” before making a request:
“If you wouldn’t mind, could you get me another fork?” (in a restaurant)


Helping People

Choose the correct answer.

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