Can I be of help? ‘Your help’ or ‘through your help’?
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Isn’t it obvious that at every point in time we’ll need somebody or a group of people to help us?
But in case you need help, how do you put across a request? Is it ‘I need your help’ or ‘I can do this through your help’? Under what circumstance do we use them (if both are correct)?
Based on three contexts we’ll discuss ‘your help’ and ‘through your help’.
The contexts are;
- An individual making it easier or possible for you to do something,
- That individual doing that thing for you,
- Or giving you something or somebody by which you can perform the task.
What do you mean when you tell somebody “I need your help”?
It means that:
- You directly need the fellow to involve him/herself to make it easier or possible for you to do something,
- You need the fellow to actually carry out the task for you.
‘Your help’ can also be used as a subject in a passive sentence. For example, ‘Your help is required’. In this sentence, which is passive, ‘your help’ is acting as the subject.
Through your help
‘Through your help’ means that you need the individual in question to give you or recommend something or somebody by which/whom you can accomplish a task. Help, in this case, is offered indirectly (without the active involvement of the helper in the accomplishment of the task in question).
For example, ‘The resource person was informed that the team will finish the task through her help’. This sentence means that the resource person will be required to facilitate the accomplishment of the task by giving or suggesting something or somebody to the team.
It also means that the team does not require the direct or explicit involvement of the resource person to complete the task.
In this context, ‘through your help’ is a prepositional phrase (because of the preposition ‘through’). It is being used as an adverbial phrase (to indicate the manner through which the task will be accomplished). Therefore, this prepositional phrase answers the question ‘how will the task be accomplished?’
So when next you need help, ask yourself whether you need the direct or indirect involvement of the helper. It’ll help you choose whether to use ‘your help’ or ‘through your help’.