English as a Second Language/word choices

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Question
1.Can I have some help?
Can I have any help?

What is the difference between the two? I searched the usage “Can I have any help?”in Google and got many results on it, but I wonder if it is grammatically correct.


2.I wouldn’t have finished the project without John’s help.
I must not have finished the project without John’s help.

Is the first sentence correct and the second one incorrect? Why doesn’t the second one make sense?

3. I don’t have much work at the moment.
I have little work at this moment.

What is the difference between the two?


4.Would you like some assistance with your bags?
Would you like any assistance with your bags?

What is the difference between the two?


5. I can work overtime if you want.
I could work overtime if you want.

Do both “can” and “could” indicate “possibility” or “ability”?

Answer
Hello Wei,

1.Can I have some help? >>> correct
Can I have any help? >>> incorrect

What is the difference between the two? I searched the usage “Can I have any help?”in Google and got many results on it, but I wonder if it is grammatically correct. First one is correct, second is incorrect.


2.I wouldn’t have finished the project without John’s help. >>> correct
I must not have finished the project without John’s help. >>> incorrect

Is the first sentence correct and the second one incorrect? yes
Why doesn’t the second one make sense? "Must" usually expresses certainty, necessity or strong recommendation, using "must" doesn't make sense here.

3. I don’t have much work at the moment.
I have little work at this moment.

What is the difference between the two? none


4.Would you like some assistance with your bags? >>> correct
Would you like any assistance with your bags? >>> incorrect

What is the difference between the two?


5. I can work overtime if you want.
I could work overtime if you want.

Do both “can” and “could” indicate “possibility” or “ability”?  Both can and could indicate both ability and possibility, the meaning depends on the context.

Any one of the sentences above can be rephrased to read either:
I have the ability to work overtime if you want.
or
It's possible for me to work overtime if you want.


Best regards,

Amy

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

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I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

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I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

Education/Credentials
BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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