I read a sentence in a chapter named "The Rattrap" which was:

The men with the rattraps said not a word; he only sat down and helped himself to the food

I think "helped himself to the food" just implies that he ate the food but I haven't seen "help" being used in this way. So is this usage of "help" correct?


1 Answer 1


To help oneself to something is to take it, 'serving oneself', generally in whatever quantity one desires. This may be with permission or otherwise. Sometimes the emphasis is on the fact a person takes what they want, and sometimes the emphasis is that no-one else is "helping them" to whatever it was. The "unlimited quantity" implication can be removed by saying things like "help yourself to a drink", because the quantity is specified.

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