Ways to ask and offer help in Russian

There are many situations where we may need someone’s help. In this lesson, we’re going to learn some important Russian words and expressions to ask for help in any situation. I really hope it will be useful for you and you will learn how to use these words and expressions correctly.

But first, let’s learn the basic nouns and verbs:

помощь [pomashch]- help

помогать [pamagat’] – to help

помочь [pamoch]- to help (perfective)

We can also use the verb выручить (help out): Я могу выручить, если надо. – I can help out if you need me.

поддержка [padderzhka] – support

поддерживать [padderzhivat’] – to support

поддержать [padderzhat’] – to support (perfective)

Two important words to ask for help in any situation

Let’s start with the common word “help!”, which is помогите [pa-ma-gee-te] in Russian. It literally means “help me”. It is a very common word, you can use it whenever you’re in trouble. For example, you’ve been just robbed by someone on the street. So, the phrase “Помогите! У меня украли сумку!” (Help me! They stole my bag!) will be suitable for this situation. Another example, “Помогите мне, пожалуйста, обменять валюту.” (Hlep me, please, to exchange my money.). So, you can use помогите in every situation when you need someone’s help. Well, if you need a help from your friend you use informal word помоги [pa-ma-gee]. It would sound weird if you say “помогите” to your friend.

Another word you can use to ask for someone’s help is спасите [spa-see-te] (literally: rescue me!). It is used when you’re in danger. For example, you fell in the river but you are not able to swim. You are sinking and screaming спасите, so that people could hear and rescue you.

How to ask for help

Мне нужна помощь. – I need help.

Помогите! – Help!

Use помогите when addressing a person formally or two or more people and помоги if you are adressing a friend/relative.

Помогите мне, пожалуйста. – Help me, please!

Помоги мне. – Help me.

Помоги мне найти работу, когда меня уволят. – Help me get a new job after I get fired.

Помоги (мне) загрузить его в машину. – Help me get him to the car.

Пожалуйста, помогите мне её успокоить. – Please help me calm her down.

Извините, не могли бы вы мне помочь? – Excuse me, can you help me?

Вы мне не поможете? – Won’t you help me?

Ты мне не поможешь? / Не поможешь мне? – Won’t you help me? (informal)

Можно попросить тебя об (одной) услуге? – Can I ask you for a favour?

Asking for help in a polite way

Now let’s talk about less dangerous situations, where you can adress someone in a polite way to ask for help. For example, you’re lost in Russian city and want to find a way to the hotel (or to another place). You can ask for help using these phrases:

Извините, пожалуйста. Я потерялся. Как мне попасть в (the name of the place)?
Excuse me, please. I’m lost. How can I get…? 

Простите, не могли бы вы мне помочь? Мне нужно в (the name of the place). Как мне туда попасть? 
Excuse me. May you help me? I need to get to… How can I get there?

Помогите мне, пожалуйста, найти дорогу… 
Help me, please to find a way… 

How to offer help

Я могу вам помочь? – Can I help you?

Чем я могу вам помочь? – How can I help you?

Чем я могу тебе помочь? – How can I help you? (informal)

Не волнуйтесь. Я вам помогу. – Don’t worry. I’ll help you.

К сожалению, я не могу помочь. – Unfortunately, I can’t help.

С этим я тебе не могу помочь. – I can’t help you with that.

Прости(те), ничем не могу помочь. – There’s nothing I can do. I’m sorry.

У меня ничего не получилось бы без поддержки моей любящей семьи. – None of this would have been possible without the support of my loving family.

Спасибо, что поддержал меня в этом. – Thank you for supporting me on that.

You can watch the video version of this lesson below or over on my YouTube channel where there are more helpful lessons.

Phrases to appreciate someone’s help

If someone helped you and you want to show gratitude, you can simply use спасибо (thank you) or большое спасибо (thank you very much). There are some other ways to appreciate someone’s help:

Вы мне очень помогли. Спасибо.
You helped me a lot. Thank you.

Спасибо за помощь.
Thank you for your help.

Что бы я без вас делал!
What would I do without you!

Don’t forget to watch my video to make sure you’ve remembered all the words.

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