How do you say how do you need help in Spanish?

Share this:All the ways to say Help in Spanish plus regional variations on the phrase.If you need to cry Help! in Spanish, then you probably dont have time to Google how to say it

How do you say how do you need help in Spanish?

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All the ways to say Help in Spanish  plus regional variations on the phrase.

If you need to cry Help! in Spanish, then you probably dont have time to Google how to say it. But for those of you who are prepared for everything, heres everything you need to know.

The first word we learn for help in Spanish in any textbook is ayuda. This is definitely a useful word to know, and of course if youre crying out ¡¡Ayuda!! then everyone is going to know you need help urgently.

But there are other words you might hear others say, and its good to know what they mean. Also, as time goes on, if an emergency arises, you may benefit from knowing how to ask for help in a more common way.

Finally, there are many ways of getting help in non-emergencies that are far more common, like in a store. Well cover those first!

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Help in spanish (socorro auxilio) over spanish ambulance

Contents

  • Help in Spanish  In A Nutshell
  • Emergency Help numbers in Spanish-speaking Countries
  • Asking for help in a store or on the street
  • Offering help in Spanish
  • Giving or getting a hand with something
  • How people say May I help you?
  • To request help  Pedir Ayuda
  • Getting Help in Dire Situations
  • Emergencies  ¡Socorro! ¡Auxilio!
  • How NOT to say Help in Spanish  Ayudar vs Asistir

Help in Spanish  In A Nutshell

Below is a table of all the ways you can call for help (or ask for help) in Spanish, plus context on how to use them.

See below for variations on these and more discussion.SpanishEnglishWhen to use¿Me puede ayudar, por favor?Can you help me please?In a store, on the street from a stranger¿Le puedo ayudar?Can I help you?Offering help to a stranger¿Me puede dar una mano?Can you give me. hand?Asking for someone to give you a hand¿Le puedo servir?
¿Le puedo asistir?Can I help you?You may hear this from people offering you help/service¡Ayúdeme!Help me!Getting help in a dire situation¡Socorro! ¡Auxilio!Help!Help in life-and-death situationsTable of ways of asking for help in Spanish

Emergency Help numbers in Spanish-speaking Countries

First, some useful information  emergency help numbers. Call these numbers if you have to. And speak English if it will get help faster  Im not totally sure about everywhere, but Id presume most emergency operators know functional English (but it will vary from country to country and individual to individual).

If youre in an emergency in a Spanish-speaking country, here are some emergency numbers to call for Spain and Latin American countries:CountryEmergency numberSpain (all of Europe)112Argentina911Mexico911Colombia123Nicaragua118 (Police)
128 (Medical)
115 (Fire)Cuba106 (Police)
105 (Fire)
104 (Medical)Chile133 (Police)
132 (Fire)
131 (Medical)Many other LatAm countries911General emergency numbers for Spanish-speaking countries

Asking for help in a store or on the street

If youre in the store and you want to ask an attendant for help, start with Perdon or Perdone (slightly more formal), and then say¿Me puede ayudar, por favor?

Sometimes I also say ¿Me puede explicar algo, por favor? if I want them to explain something.

Variations on this

Can you help me in Spanish

¿Me puedes ayudar?
or
¿Me ayuda, por favor?

When to use it

Informal, if the person is clearly a lot younger than you, or youre both young

Read next: 6 Useful Ways to Say Im Sorry in Spanish

Offering help in Spanish

Sometimes its nice to offer strangers help. I like to do this to increase global understanding and help the image of tourists in the eyes of locals.

The most common time I do this is when I see an older person (usually female) carrying a big piece of luggage up a flight of stairs.

In this case, I use one of the following phrases:

Spanish

  • ¿Le puedo ayudar con ese, señora?
  • ¿Le puedo ayudar?
  • ¿Le doy una mano?

English

  • May I give you a hand with that, madam
  • May I give you a hand?
  • Shall I give you a hand?

More on that last phrase in the next part!

Giving or getting a hand with something

Just like in English, in Spanish you say Can you give me a hand? when you want some help or if you want to offer help.

There are three ways of saying give a hand in Spanish.

Spanish

  1. Dar una mano
  2. Prestar una mano
  3. Echar una mano

English

  1. To give a hand
  2. To lend a hand
  3. To give a hand (colloquial)

In most situations, dar una mano works both ways, both when receiving or giving help.

You use prestar una mano when asking for help, like can you lend you a hand? You could offer help with prestar

Here are some phrases you can use to get or offer help in Spanish using the phrase a hand.PhraseWhen to use¿Me puedes prestar una mano?Could you give me a hand? (casual)¿Me prestas una mano aquí por favor?Can you give me a hand here please? (casual)¿Me das una mano?You wanna give me a hand? (casual)¿Le doy una mano?Can I give you a hand? (formal)¿Quieres que te de una mano?Do you want me to give you a hand? (casual)¿Quiere que le de una mano?Do you want me to give you a hand? (formal)

How people say May I help you?

You often people here may I help you? in a store. But times you want to say it to someone else, like if someone is staring or it looks like they want to ask a question.

Here are a few ways of offering to be of help in Spanish.

Spanish

  • ¿Le puedo ayudar con algo?

  • ¿En que puedo ayudar?

  • ¿Le puedo servir?

English

  • Can I help you with something?
  • In what way may I help you?
  • This is how youd hear it in a shop. May I serve you?

To request help  Pedir Ayuda

This is a phrase you can use to suggest to someone that they get help in Spanish.

Youd use it in contexts like Why dont you go get some help?

Spanish

  • Pide/Pida ayuda!
  • Si pides ayuda, puede que la recibas.
  • Pedir ayuda no es fácil.

English

  • Request some help!
  • If you ask for help, you might just receive it.
  • To ask for help isnt easy.

Note: Dont use the verb preguntar (to ask) when asking for help  asking for something is with pedir.

Getting Help in Dire Situations

The first way you learn to cry for help in Spanish from a textbook or phrasebook is to say ¡Ayuda!.

But this is actually not the most useful way to ask for help in Spanish. By itself, this word means help. It can also be interpreted as the first-person imperative, but thats more rare.

More common than simply saying ¡Ayuda! is to say ¡Ayúdame! (to young people or between younger people), ¡Ayúdeme! (to an individual) or ¡Ayúdenme! to a group of people.

Saying ¡Ayuda! isnt wrong; its just not what youd most often hear.

Emergencies  ¡Socorro! ¡Auxilio!

When in an actual emergency  like someone has passed out, or youre in a situation thats life-threatening to yourself  you can call out anything, but calling out ¡Socorro! or ¡Auxilio! is standard Spanish for Help!.

You can also just call them back to back. ¡Socorro! ¡Auxilio! ¡Ayúdenme!

Theyre basically synonyms. The root words have very similar meanings. The very socorrer means to come to the aid of (WordReference), and the verb auxiliar means to give aid to or to attend (WordReference).

Contextually, the difference between socorro and auxilio is subtle and not terribly important in an actual emergency. But from the definitions and how I see them used, socorro (which is used more often) is generally more help for oneself; auxilio is help for someone else.

This is not a rule  either works, and the above distinction is just what Ive seen from context.

Also, apart from hearing all the words back to back, auxilio is used less often.

How NOT to say Help in Spanish  Ayudar vs Asistir

Lastly, its worth pointing out the wrong way of offering or asking for help in Spanish  DONT use the verb asistir.

The verb asistir in Spanish is most commonly used to mean to attend or to be present for, in the sense of going to a place. For example, you would asisitir a meeting or a convention.

  • ¿Vas a asistir mañana á la reunión? Are you going to attend the meeting tomorrow?
  • ¿El padre asistirà al parto? Will the father be present for the delivery?

But just to be confusing, asisitir can also mean to attend to in the sense of providing help.

For example, you can use asistir to say things like El médico asistió al paciente to say The doctor attended to the client.

You may also note that asistencia does translate to assistance, and is basically a synonym for ayuda in that sence. But asistencia can also mean attendance.Share this:

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