They came to his help

I found this sentence while I was studying English in my English grammar book.

And my book said it meant:

They came to help him

But I don't understand what it means when I read this sentence without an explanation.

When I read I wanted his help this sentence I can understand.

I want to know why it means They came to help him like this!


"They came to his help" does not sound idiomatic to me at all. If it ever has been used, it is not used in modern speech. I have never personally heard it used, nor would I use myself.

We would more likely say:

  • "They came to help him"
  • "They came to his aid"

"They came to his aid" is idiomatic if perhaps a little formal.

This ngram is interesting - it compares:

  • came to his aid
  • came to his help
  • came to my aid
  • came to my help
  • came to help me
  • came to help him

The results seem to indicate that "to my/his aid" has always been the more popular phrase, and even though it has declined in usage, is still more widely used than any of the others.

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come to help, come to aid and come to rescue mean more or less the same and they are idioms. For example ,

1.If the Government had not come to my help, I would have died.

2 .If he had not come to my rescue, I would have been in deep trouble

3 .If my friend had not come to my aid, I would have been in a financial crisis

come to one's help means help somebody when they are in deep trouble


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  • To create a numbered list, it's 2. (no space between number and full stop/period) followed by a single space, e.g. 3. If, this will create an indented list. You cannot create lists in comments. – Mari-Lou A Aug 28 '19 at 5:52
  • Marie-LouA .I do not understand what you mean.Is your comment about my answer.It is not a comment but it is an answer.You seem to be more particular about spaces rather than answers – successive suspension Aug 28 '19 at 6:12
  • It's about the formatting, see this answer as an example of a numbered list ell.stackexchange.com/questions/20304/… – Mari-Lou A Aug 28 '19 at 6:17
  • @Mari-LouA It was edited by J.R who formated as such – successive suspension Aug 28 '19 at 6:25
  • J.R. didn't touch the numbers, he fixed the spelling of "somebody" and removed the space before a comma. View the timestamp, it has the edit history. I'm just saying that to make numbered lists this is the way to go about it. It also means the numbers stay in line, automatically. – Mari-Lou A Aug 28 '19 at 6:28

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