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11 useful phrases to ask for help

Do you know how to ask for help in English? Have you ever been in a trouble or in a bad situation that you need to ask for assistance from someone else? There are many ways to ask for help in English. Let’s learn how to it in formal and informal contexts.

In an informal situation

When you ask for assistance from a friend, a family member or a relative, it is an informal situation. You might say:

1. Can you give me a hand?

2. Can you help me to hold the door for a minute?

3. Can I ask you a favour?

Learn more: Can I have your name?


In a Formal Situation

When you ask someone at work or on the streets to help you something, you should say politely and use the modal verb “could”.

4. Could you help me to open the door?

5. I wonder if you could help me to get the book on the top of the shelf?

Learn more: 7 Essential tips for English Fluency


In other contexts

In some situations, you want to find support or help from people around, you might say:

6. I could do with some help, please. (you insist that you are really in need of help)

You are facing a very big problem and you need help. You can use this question in a situation where you have too much to do.

7. I can’t manage. Can you help

When you want to ask for help directly, you can use the phrase “lend me a hand”. This is a less polite way than the phrase “give me a hand”.

Learn more: Asking for Information


More formal situations

We use “Could you spare” to mean that we respect others because they are busy and we need help in the short period of time.

10. Could you spare me a moment

When you want to ask other people to help and hope that they will not refuse, you might say:

11. I need some help, please.

Learn more:

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