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

The phrase lend sb a hand is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of lend sb a hand.

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

From One Language to Another: Idioms in Translation

Translating idioms from one language to another can be a tricky task, as the cultural context behind an idiom can be difficult to capture. For example, the French phrase "avoir le cafard" translates to "to have the cockroach," which means to feel down or depressed. Similarly, the Chinese idiom "????" (j?ng d? zh? w?) translates to "frog at the bottom of a well," which refers to someone with a narrow view of the world.


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