What does the idiom "lend sb a hand" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase lend sb a hand, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression lend sb a hand used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "lend sb a hand"


The idiom "lend a hand" is a phrase typically used to demonstrate one's willingness to help someone in need. It is an offer of assistance, expressed in the form of an invitation. The phrase can also be used to thank someone who has already helped.


The phrase "lend a hand" originates from the early 16th century when sailors were needed to help raise sails and lift anchors aboard ships. The phrase was used to encourage men to cooperate in order to get the task done more efficiently. The phrase eventually evolved to become a metaphor for assisting someone in need.


The idiom "lend a hand" is often used in casual language and tends to be informal. It is typically used when one wants to offer help or aid for a task, problem, or even a person in need. It can also be used to express appreciation towards someone who has already been of assistance.

Example Sentences

  • I can't manage this on my own. Can you lend me a hand?
  • I'd be grateful if you could lend me a hand with this project.
  • Thanks for lending me a hand yesterday.
  • I really appreciate you lending me a hand.

The meanings of the words in the "lend sb a hand" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


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