This link is the letter of Annie Sullivan [Helen's teacher].

In this letter, Annie explained to Mrs. Keller how difficult it was going to be to do anything with Helen.

I am so confused with the usage of "do anything with Helen". I consider Annie intend to teach good manners to Helen. Please read and explain it to me.Thanks in advance.

  • @StoneyB I've edited. What's your opinion about my questin? – learner Nov 13 '16 at 2:40

There's nothing complicated to the phrase "to do anything with". It means what it says. You could substitute "accomplish" or "achieve" for "do".

In the example you give, Annie Sullivan is saying that teaching Helen Keller is going to be very difficult. Your idea about manners could be inferred from the rest of the letter, but has nothing to do with the sentence you quoted.


My car is badly wrecked. I have it towed to a repair shop. The mechanic says, "I don't think we'll be able to do anything with it."

I'm unsatisfied with my haircut. So I go to a different barber and say "Can you do anything with my hair?"

I'm interviewing a chef, and ask "Can you do anything with chicken that's different and exciting?"

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