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10 / 02 / 2005

CAN'T HELP DOING SOMETHING: meaning and examples

Good morning. Today's expression is: can't help doing something It means: to have a tendency to do something, even though you may not want to do it; to not be able to stop doing something. Example 1: I can't help feeling depressed every time I watch the news. It seems like the world is full of problems! Example 2: I can't help snacking (= eating a snack) between meals, especially sweet things like chocolate. I know I shouldn't do it because then I don't always eat a proper dinner! A related expression is: can't help thinking It means: to have a good reason for thinking something. Example 3: I can't help thinking that there's something suspicious about John's behaviour. He's been acting very strangely lately. Perhaps you know the Elvis Presley song "I can't help falling in love with you," a modern version of which you can hear in a television advert for a popular Spanish brand of beer! BE CAREFUL! It is the gerund form (verb ing) that gives this expression its meaning. Do not confuse this expression with can't help subject: Example I can't help you. = I can't give you assistance. If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please don't hesitate to contact me. Enjoy your day!