What is the Meaning of the Expression
I CAN’T HELP IT?
What does it mean, in an English conversation, when someone says, “I can’t help it,” or “I can’t help myself,” or “I can’t help doing something.”
for those learning to speak English as a Second, or Additional, Language (ESL or EAL)
I can’t help it means I do not have control over myself in this situation.
When someone says, “I can’t help it” it usually means that person is doing something they know is negative, but they feel powerless to stop their actions.
Similar expressions to I can’t help it:
– I can’t help myself. (Past Tense: I couldn’t help myself.)
– He can’t help himself. | She can’t help herself.
– can’t help [doing something] e.g., drinking too much
- be sure to use a gerund after this phrase (i.e., a verb which has ing at the end of it and works as a noun)
When I saw her at the grocery store, I told her that I think she is a horrible person! I know I shouldn’t have said it, but I was so angry with her I couldn’t help saying what I felt.
I binge watched the entire series on the weekend. It was a total waste of time but I couldn’t help myself. It’s such a suspenseful show!
We shouldn’t laugh at our toddler so much; it’s probably not good for him to think he is always the entertainment in the room. The trouble is that he is such a funny little guy, we can’t help ourselves.
I can’t help feeling like this is a bad idea. Should we stop?
I can’t help worrying that my grandmother will die when I am away.
And then, of course, there is the famous Elvis Presley song, “I can’t help falling in love with you.”