Please have a look the following self-made sentences and help me to find out whether any of the items sounds unnatural. If yes, then why? I need to come to a conclusion based on the probable incorrect cases that you will define here:

  • 1-1- A good dictionary can be a good aid.
    1-2- A good dictionary can be a good help.


  • 2-1- Aid forces are on the way. (a government official said through a phone call to an earthquake victim.)
    2-2- Help forces are on the way.


  • 3-1- We will send aid to you as soon as possible.
    3-2- We will send help to you as soon as possible.
  • I rolled back your revision, as changing the text of the sentences made the answer you received incorrect in parts. – Katy May 8 '19 at 7:29
  • Thank you @Katy. I was changing the question and letting Edward know about it adding some extra information at the end of the thread. Well, I'll try to post it as a new thread, although they're so close concepts. :) – A-friend May 8 '19 at 7:31
  • 1
    @ A-friend. Maybe try asking your clarification in the comments of the question answer, or editing to add additional examples instead of changing the examples you already gave. That way the topic can be together, but you don't create a situation where you change a correct sentence to an incorrect one and cause the answer to seem wrong or misleading. – Katy May 8 '19 at 7:41
  • Possible duplicate of A comparison betwen "aid", "help" and "relief" – Jason Bassford May 8 '19 at 15:20

All six examples sound reasonable as U.S. English. "Aid" and "help" do have slightly different connotations here. "Aid" in this context usually refers to physical items - medical supplies, food, etc. "Help" in this context usually refers to action - people are arriving to assist, rescue, etc.

The above is true for the dictionary examples as well. The dictionary as "aid" refers to the object - the dictionary. The dictionary as "help" refers to its ability to assist the person in figuring something out.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Thank you @Edward Barnard, but I would appreciate it if you could analyze my provided items #1 and #2 by interpreting them. According to your explanations, there is something missing for me in "dictionary" and people who are going to be of help in terms of aid/help forces. For me, your definition can only be applicable to the items of the third group. – A-friend May 7 '19 at 22:09
  • 1
    @A-friend - I edited to clarify the dictionary case. – Edward Barnard May 8 '19 at 0:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.