I can't help myself from...

Bonhomie

Member
Portuguese (Brazil)
Hi,

I just saw the preview for “Inglourious Basterds”. At a certain point Brad Pitt says and I quote “…the German will not be able to help themselves from imagining the cruelty…” This is the first time I've come across “can’t help + from + Verb + ing”. I’ve always believed there were only two options: “can’t help + Verb + ing” or “can’t help + but + Verb”. Is it standard English? Can it be used in written English, or only in spoken English?
I just can’t help myself from asking you.
 
Last edited:
  • Aaar

    Senior Member
    English -USA
    Clearly, Tarantino "borrowed" the construction from J. K. Rowling.
    And the dark wizards will not be able to help themselves from imagining the cruelty their brothers endured at our hands, at our quidditch..
    - from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

    I have never heard a non-fictitious person use it.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top