can't help (doing something)

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Related to cannot help: can't help it

can't help (doing something)

A phrase used when one feels very strongly compelled to do something. The verb used after "help" typically ends in "-ing." We can't help intervening here, before you throw your life away on drugs! My mom can't help meddling in my love life, even though I'm 30 years old!
See also: help

can't help

Also, can't help but or cannot but . Be unable to do otherwise. For example, I can't help thinking that the keys will turn up eventually, or He couldn't help but believe he would pass the entrance exam, or I cannot but applaud his efforts. The first of these phrases, can't help, is always followed by a present participle whereas the others take an infinitive. [c. 1700]
See also: help

can’t help (doing) something


can’t help but do something

not be able to avoid or resist doing something: A kleptomaniac is a person who can’t help stealing things.‘I’m sorry, I can’t help it,’ she said, bursting into tears.He’s a bit of a fool, but you can’t help but like him.
See also: help, something
References in periodicals archive ?
Regardless of where the unaccounted-for carbon is going, the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to rise, the United States is a huge contributor to that rise, and reducing erosions cannot help but counter future increases.
Readers may question some of the conclusions or even propose alternative ones, but they cannot help be astonished at the power of symbols and metaphors (even mixed ones) to the human mind.
Indeed, as we examine indigenous history over the past 200 years, we cannot help but be saddened by the awful contrast between what has been in so many parts of the country and what might have been.
But one cannot help feeling this is one long yuppie whine.
The pleasure of recognition aside, as readers we cannot help thinking back to that earlier epic, of the reasons the war at Troy was fought, of Achilles' struggle to understand why he should be there at all, at his grief over the death of his closest friend at the hands of Hector.
Park yourself on a slope amid a Rockies autumn, and you cannot help but be dazzled and daunted and somehow enriched by the sheer enormity of that country.
Claude: MSing Around by John Mythen The cartoons of Claude -- "the first case of canine MS on record" -- are wonderful and cannot help but raise spirits.
World-renowned mathematician Peter Hilton, currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Binghamton University, State University of New York, writes, "As I look back on Burt's massive contribution to the reform of secondary school mathematics, I cannot help but reflect on the uniqueness of that contribution.
Phyllis Chesler, while explaining why the work on her new book has made her A7 articles few and far between, cannot help informing us of what is going on in the Islamic world - and what is (not) being done about it.
My sense is that I find [such games] extremely distasteful, and I cannot help but feel that they cannot help the situation.
I cannot help thinking that these files are going to open up a huge 'can of worms' and would ask the people of Liverpool to ready themselves for a lot more pain and hurt.
I cannot help thinking that these files are going to open up a huge "can of wor ms", and would ask the people of Liverpool to ready themselves for a lot more pain and hurt.
I appreciate the hotel cannot help power cuts, but a hotel of that size surely should have a back-up generator.
CELTIC winger Aiden McGeady admits he cannot help but wonder what might have been when he looks at the teams who have qualified for the last four of the Champions League.
Yet at the same time, the reader cannot help but see the same cast of characters in one's own family.
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