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I saw a lady on street who seemed lost. She was searching for somewhere by Google Map. I wanted to help her.

At that time, could I just say, "Any help needed?", which is grammatically not completed, instead of saying, "Can I help you?"?

I think I have heard some English speakers saying, "Any help needed?" and "Need any help?", which are both grammatically incomplete, but I can't find any examples for the former one on the internet.

(Maybe, I just can't catch "You" before "need any help." in the latter one, though.)

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  • Both are fine but Need any help? is more usual. Not everything can be googled. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 13:19
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    Any help needed? lacks a verb - to make a "valid" sentence you could precede it by Is any help needed? Similarly, Need any help? lacks a subject, but we'd normally include "do-support" there to give Do you need any help? if we wanted a syntactically "correct" utterance. If you're not familiar with which elements of such utterances native speakers often discard, you should probably stick to using syntactically correct utterances. They will always be acceptable and understood, but there's a lot of scope for confusion if you start experimenting with such things. Commented May 10, 2023 at 14:12
  • It's a good example of English Conversational Deletion. The initial dummy words (Is there?) indicating the type of clause (existential y/n question) are deleted because they're meaningless and take up two syllables in a potential emergency situation. Commented May 10, 2023 at 16:28
  • Thank you all! (It) seems both are natural, but "(Do) You need any help?" is more common. Right, not everything can be found by Google. "Conversation Deletion" seems very interesting. I have checked the link. (I) Would love to study it more! Thank you!
    – user479727
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 11:37

2 Answers 2

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"Any help needed" is natural though not as common as "Need any help?"

It's easily understood to mean "(Is there) any help needed?", which is a far less common way of phrasing the question, "(Do you) need any help?".

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  • Thank you for your help! Maybe "need any help?" is much more common, but in some counties "any help needed?" is also so-so common?
    – user479727
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 11:41
  • I don't know if it's different from place to place. This nGram shows that "any help needed" is almost never used.
    – gotube
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 16:10
  • Thank you for sharing this interesting tool, too, to find the usage ratio in comparison. Very inter to see "any help needed?" is used much less than "need any help?", but still it is natural to you (probably in daily conversation).
    – user479727
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 19:22
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I have never heard of "Any help needed", although it's understandable. "Need any help" sounds natural--it of course means "Do you need any help", but deleting "do you" is fairly common when the subject ignored is obvious as you talk to the subject themselves. Other examples include: "(Do you) Need a ride?", "(Do you) like it?", etc.

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  • You do hear 'any help needed' quite often. It sounds perfectly natural.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 6:40
  • Thank you all! Interesting to notice those expressions, "need a ride?" and "like it?".
    – user479727
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 11:42
  • You hear "any help needed?" quite often!? I see! Then, maybe depending on the countries, "any help needed?" is very common!? Thank you for your information!
    – user479727
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 11:45

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