"Hope this help" or "Hope this helps"?



Good evening all, I often see people write "hope this helps" at the end of a communication, especially when they are trying to answer other people's queries about computer problems.
Recently, my english teacher pointed out that both "hope this helps" and "hope this help" are grammatically incorrect after she saw a classmate of mine writting the three words in his assignment, but my teacher just didn't explain it in detail why the expressions are wrong.

So, could you tell me why both "hope this helps" and "hope this help" are grammatically incorrect please?

I had asked this question in school. Some of teachers told me that "hope this helps" was perfectly acceptable and they had been using it for many years.
But some told me that "the correct expression should be: Hope this help or I hope this help"

Please help me! Which is correct?
1: hope this helps
2: hope this help
3. I hope this will help. (my suggestion)



Posted 2015-02-18T13:26:36.893

Reputation: 5 774

What about Hope (this or it) helps?

– SuperAtic – 2018-01-31T04:54:32.827



So my original answer was incorrect. "Hope this helps!" is a declarative, not an imperative. Instead of deleting my answer, I think it might be helpful to explain why I should have known it wasn't an imperative, and pull out the bits from the original that were correct.

Imperative clauses are usually in the second person, like:
"Hope for the best!" (You should hope for the best.)

A declarative clause is just a statement, like:
"I am editing my answer." or,
"Hope this helps!"

The second person and first person form of hope are the same, so I got a little confused because I didn't think about it carefully. I should have been able to tell that the clause wasn't an imperative because an imperative is usually a command directed at another person, and "Hope this helps!" is stating something in the first person.

I would expand "Hope this helps!" this way:

I hope this (answer) helps you.

You would say "This answer helps me." and not "This answer help me." because the subject of "help" is third person singular. So, "Hope this helps (you)!" is OK, but "Hope this help (you)!" has a verb agreement problem.

In your suggested sentence, which is grammatical, you changed the wish from the present (helps) to the future (will help). This is OK, but it's not exactly what the original author expressed.


Posted 2015-02-18T13:26:36.893

Reputation: 11 270

1Well, "Hope this helps" COULD be interpreted as an imperative, meaning that the person who is addressed should or must hope that it will help. But that's not what people mean when they say it. They mean "I hope this helps", and are just leaving off the word "I" for brevity. It is not an imperative sentence but a declarative sentence with the subject left out. – Jay – 2015-02-18T14:36:06.820

1@Jay Thanks! I always interpreted as a form of well-wishing but I think what you're saying makes more sense. – ColleenV – 2015-02-18T14:42:31.797

2@kitty As Jay pointed out my original answer wasn't correct, so I've edited it to explain why I should have known "Hope this helps!" wasn't an imperative. – ColleenV – 2015-02-18T16:50:37.990

@ColleenV, I think your original answer is perfectly OK because I don't know much about first/second/third person arguments. This part of your original answer is also very good: "you changed the wish from the present (helps) to the future (will help). This is OK, but it's not exactly what the original author expressed." – kitty – 2015-02-18T19:00:54.803

4this is called "dropped subject" and is extremely common in english, especially speech. – user428517 – 2015-02-18T22:54:22.500


1: hope this helps - Informal but commonly used as the subject (I) is implied. Technically, it is not a complete sentence as it does not have a subject.

2: hope this help - Informal and wrong as there is no subject-verb agreement between "this" and "help"

3: I hope this will help. (my suggestion) - This is perfectly acceptable.


Posted 2015-02-18T13:26:36.893

Reputation: 5 009


I will answer this question from a native speaker's perspective.

3 is very commonly used and is grammatically correct as it has an explicit subject and as Kevin mentions "help" is used as an intransitive verb which does not require a direct object.

1 is also acceptable in common use. However, a pedantic perspective would identify that 1 is not a complete sentence because it does not have an explicit subject.

(2) "hope this help" is grammatically incorrect because it has improper subject-verb agreement.

Hope this helps! ;)


Posted 2015-02-18T13:26:36.893

Reputation: 69


While it's great that you've received an answer so quickly, I would wait a little while before accepting an answer @kitty. There is an explanation of why on the meta site: http://meta.ell.stackexchange.com/q/1307/9161

– ColleenV – 2015-02-18T14:11:54.077

2Number 3 is a complete sentence. Help is both a transitive and an intransitive verb. As such, it does not require an object. – Kevin – 2015-02-18T14:18:41.813

2Also, the predicate is not implied. "hope this helps" is the predicate. – Kevin – 2015-02-18T14:22:27.027

2Thanks, Kevin. I learned something! I edited my answer based on your comments. – tday03 – 2015-02-18T14:27:14.053

1+1 for 'a pedantic perspective...'. Any reasonable person would understand 'Hope this helps' – Kik – 2015-02-18T20:31:35.003


Hope this helps vs hope this help!

It's more natural and common to say "hope this helps!" Alternatively, it's correct to say "(I) hope this will help".


Posted 2015-02-18T13:26:36.893

Reputation: 26 261


One of the finest points of english grammar as my English professor said. Subjunctive mood.

The correct answer is I hope this help. Whether the subject is singular or plural, you use the base form of the verb. Why base form for singular as well? The reason is because it’s not a declarative. The action word is not happening yet. Subjunctive mood expresses a hope, a wish or a request.


Posted 2015-02-18T13:26:36.893

Reputation: 1