couldn't help to make peace

nicole110

Senior Member
chinese from Taiwan
Hi, all

I came across such a sentence on the internet “She felt that since she couldn't help to make peace, she was somehow at fault.” Gyazo - 5f54eeb835d0d7513d26d13320306d01.png Here, “couldn’t help to make peace” means “couldn’t help making peace” and “couldn’t help but make peace”? The three has the same meaning? Could you do me a favor to figure it out? Thank you very much.
 
  • icecreamsoldier

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English
    The three phrases have two quite different meanings:
    1) couldn't help to make peace = she was unable to find a way for there to be peace
    2) couldn't help making peace = she had no choice, so she did help make peace
    3) couldn't help but make peace = same as (2)

    (2) and (3) don't work, however, in the context of feeling guilty for not being able to help in any way so that there might be peace.
     

    nicole110

    Senior Member
    chinese from Taiwan
    thank you very much.
    The three phrases have two quite different meanings:
    1) couldn't help to make peace = she was unable to find a way for there to be peace
    2) couldn't help making peace = she had no choice, so she did help make peace
    3) couldn't help but make peace = same as (2)

    (2) and (3) don't work, however, in the context of feeling guilty for not being able to help in any way so that there might be peace.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top