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Why would it be OK to say "provide confidential advice" but not "provide confidential help"? To me, the latter form seems wrong, but I can't explain why.

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I think this is General Reference. You can provide confidential help, advice, assistance, support, etc. In context, they may mean the same or different things, but they're all perfectly normal English. –  FumbleFingers Jul 31 '12 at 21:08
    
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closed as general reference by Robusto, Matt Эллен, tchrist, FumbleFingers, MετάEd Jul 31 '12 at 21:33

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.

1 Answer

Advice: "an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct"

Help: "to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to"

So I would provide confidential advice in a business to business situation, but I would provide confidential help with my friend's homework.

Both are correct grammatically, but the latter is probably used less often (there aren't as many situations where help need be confidential).

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