cannot (can't) help but

cannot (can't) help but
In this expression, but should be omitted because its use results in a double negative (cannot, or can't, and but). Instead of saying "I can't help but think you are mistaken," say "I can't help thinking you are mistaken," a more concise statement with no double negative involved. See also double negative.

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

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  • (cannot) can't help but — In this expression, but should be omitted because its use results in a double negative (cannot, or can t, and but). Instead of saying I can t help but think you are mistaken, say I can t help thinking you are mistaken, a more concise statement… …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • can't\ help\ but — • cannot but formal • can t help but informal v. phr. To be forced to; can only; must. When the streets are full of melting snow, you can t help but get your shoes wet. When a friend gave Jim a ticket to the game, he couldn t help but go. When a… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • can't help but — {informal} also {formal}[cannot but] {v. phr.} To be forced to; can only; must. * /When the streets are full of melting snow, you can t help but get your shoes wet./ * /When a friend gave Jim a ticket to the game, he couldn t help but go./ *… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • can't help but — {informal} also {formal}[cannot but] {v. phr.} To be forced to; can only; must. * /When the streets are full of melting snow, you can t help but get your shoes wet./ * /When a friend gave Jim a ticket to the game, he couldn t help but go./ *… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • cannot or can't help but — idi cannot or can t help but, to be unable to refrain from or avoid; be obliged to: Still, you can t help but admire her[/ex] …   From formal English to slang

  • cannot\ but — • cannot but formal • can t help but informal v. phr. To be forced to; can only; must. When the streets are full of melting snow, you can t help but get your shoes wet. When a friend gave Jim a ticket to the game, he couldn t help but go. When a… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • CAN'T — contr. can not. * * * ˈkant, aa(ə) , ai ; esp S ā ; esp NewEng & Brit ȧ , ä ; sporadically e Etymology: by contraction : can not * * * /kant, kahnt/ contraction of cannot. Usage. See can1, cannot, contraction. * * * can t contraction of ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • help — [[t]hɛlp[/t]] v. t. 1) to save; rescue; succor: Help me, I m falling![/ex] 2) to contribute to; facilitate or promote: to help desegregation[/ex] 3) to be useful or profitable to: Your knowledge of languages will help you in your career[/ex] 4)… …   From formal English to slang

  • help — helpable, adj. /help/, v.t. 1. to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist: He planned to help me with my work. Let me …   Universalium

  • help — I UK [help] / US verb Word forms help : present tense I/you/we/they help he/she/it helps present participle helping past tense helped past participle helped *** Get it right: help: The verb help is not used with the ing form of another verb. It… …   English dictionary

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