any help or help

Antartic

Senior Member
Chile
Hello.
I'd like to know if the second sentence is gramatically correct:

She didn't give me any help at all.
She didn't give me help at all.
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hola Antartic,

    I am not a grammarian, so I cannot tell you what rule you may have broken. It just sounds awful. You could say, "She didn't give me help."

    I believe there is some required--by the ear, at least--correspondence between 'any' and 'at all'.

    ciao,
    Cuchu
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    Antartic said:
    Hello.
    I'd like to know if the second sentence is gramatically correct:

    She didn't give me any help at all.
    She didn't give me help at all.


    The use of "at all" here conveys a negative emphasis to your original sentence.

    I'd say "She didn't give me help/ She didn't help me at all" (I like this one better) I think the "any" sounds redundant there.

    But wait for the natives... :)
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I agree that if you use any help, you need to follow it with at all.
    You can also say, "She didn't help me at all," as Art says.

    It doesn't sound correct to say, "She didn't give me help at all". At all doesn't act as an adjective here so it doesn't fit. You need the any.
     

    CubaCelt

    Member
    Ireland, English
    Hiya hiya hiya (that's a chant, I'm one of the natives.)

    Artella is correct. "She didn't give me any help at all or She didn't help me at all" are both correct. You could also say "She was no help at all" or "She was no help"

    "she didn't give me help at all" is not a usual construction.

    (I recomend you drop her because she sounds as if she's totally usless)
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    jacinta said:
    I agree that if you use any help, you need to follow it with at all.

    Jacinta could you explain why, please? Can't you say "any help" and leave it at that? Do you need to add "at all"?

    Thank you.
     

    nmgadb

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Artrella said:
    Jacinta could you explain why, please? Can't you say "any help" and leave it at that? Do you need to add "at all"?

    Thank you.

    You do not need to add "at all"

    You can simply say "she didn't give me any help"

    I think that by adding "at all" you emphasize that not only was she not helpful, but she absolutly didn't help with anything. All depending on context of course.

    -Nathan
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    nmgadb said:
    You do not need to add "at all"

    You can simply say "she didn't give me any help"

    I think that by adding "at all" you emphasize that not only was she not helpful, but she absolutly didn't help with anything. All depending on context of course.

    -Nathan

    I agree with this, although I think you would often add the "at all" you certainly don't have to.

    Cuchu, in your first post I am confused. You said - You could say, "She didn't give me help."

    I disagree with you, but am wondering if you just missed out a "not" eg "you couldn't say ...." by mistake?
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    jacinta said:
    I agree that if you use any help, you need to follow it with at all.
    You can also say, "She didn't help me at all," as Art says.

    It doesn't sound correct to say, "She didn't give me help at all". At all doesn't act as an adjective here so it doesn't fit. You need the any.


    Yes, Art. This doesn't say what I wanted it to! :) Thanks, Nathan, for clearing that up. What I meant to say was that this is a structure: any ____at all.

    Or, you could say, " You're no help at all." "You're no fun at all."

    At all is an intensifier. You can leave it off and it is fine.

    Boy! These usage things are tough to explain. :eek:
     
    Top