can't be helped. and couldn't be helped

it can't be helped

A phrase used when one is faced with something (usually something unpleasant) that cannot be avoided. I'm not thrilled to spend my Saturday cleaning, but it can't be helped—the house is a mess! We tried to stall for more time, but I'm afraid it can't be helped—you'll have to go on stage now.
See also: help
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(It) can't be helped. and (It) couldn't be helped.

Nothing can be done to help the situation.; The situation could not have been avoided. John: The accident has blocked traffic in two directions. Jane: It can't be helped. They have to get the people out of the cars and send them to the hospital. Bill: My goodness, the lawn looks dead! Sue: It can't be helped. There's no rain and water is rationed. John: I'm sorry I broke your figurine. Sue: It couldn't be helped. John: I'll replace it. Sue: That would be nice. Bill: I'm sorry I'm late. I hope it didn't mess things up. Bob: It can't be helped.
See also: and, help
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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