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A few times I've encountered phrases of the form "help yourself [something]", for example "help yourself some water". I consider this form to be ungrammatical, but I am not a native speaker. Is it correct to say so?

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General Reference. It's "Help yourself to some water", which should be asked on English Learners –  FumbleFingers Apr 1 '13 at 12:16
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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, tchrist, MετάEd, aedia λ, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Apr 2 '13 at 16:12

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If help means assist and is followed by a verb, then that verb can appear with or without the infinitive-marker to:

He helps me understand.
He helps me to understand.

Where help means serve, to give yourself a helping, it's followed by a noun or noun phrase as the direct object and it needs the preposition to:

Help yourself to some water.

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