I cant't help it that I have ... =? I can't help having ....

Baltic Sea

Banned
Polish
Hello again!

I know for sure that the structure "I can't help +ing form" exists and I can write that I can't help having a sweet tooth, for example.

Could the sentence "I can't help having a sweet tooth" be replaced by a sentence "I can't help it that I have a sweet tooth"?
.
Thank you
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Could the sentence "I can't help having a sweet tooth" be replaced by a sentence "I can't help it that I have a sweet tooth"?
    Yes, they mean the same. I can only speak for myself: I would never in a million years use the option, even in speech. To me it is sub-standard. I would be very surprised to hear it from an educated native speaker except in the most colloquial and informal circumstances, when they might be saying it deliberately, as a sort of pastiche of uneducated speech, even putting on an accent.

    I recommend that learners do not use it and that teachers do not accept it.

    Hermione
     

    mr cat

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, they mean the same. I can only speak for myself: I would never in a million years use the option, even in speech. To me it is sub-standard. I would be very surprised to hear it from an educated native speaker except in the most colloquial and informal circumstances, when they might be saying it deliberately, as a sort of pastiche of uneducated speech, even putting on an accent.

    I recommend that learners do not use it and that teachers do not accept it.

    Hermione
    Perhaps, and I wouldn't get into a grammatical argument, but I hear, and would possibly say myself, ''I can't help it that/if I've (got) a sweet tooth''.

    P.S. I would love to know (quite seriously) what people mean by 'educated' on these forums given that almost eveyone in the western world receives an education. - Should I open a thread?
     
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