“Thanks for your advice - I found it very helping.” Is this use of 'helping' correct in the above sentence? Thanks a lot.

  • It should be an adjective because it's modified by 'very', which does not verbs (cf. the unacceptable *she is very walking). But your sentence doesn't sound idiomatic (and is potentially ungrammatical) to me; 'helpful' is a more common adjective. Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


While technically this is possible- the gerund form does exist, I believe it would be better expressed with helpful.


There is a fixed phrase:

She lent him a helping hand.

That is, she helped him.

And the -ing form often appears to be adjectival, expressing the kind of something:

He bought a new pair of running shoes.

Gutenberg is credited with the invention of the printing press.

But we don't normally use helping as a predicate adjective / subject complement:

Your advice was very helping ungrammatical.

Yet with some other -ing forms we would have no problem using them in that manner:

Most men found Morgan beguiling.

The question is intriguing.

The experience was enriching.

A mother's voice is often soothing.

The algorithm was self-adjusting.

She's too judging, always finding fault.

The story was very amusing.

Why are you always so accusing?

The thought of sailing to Tahiti was most alluring.

The amount of lead in the drinking water was quite appalling.

The chocolate cake looked very appealing.

The nod was approving.

The jacket felt too constraining.

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