I have had a few international friends ask about "here" when used at the end of a sentence such as

  • "I could use a little help here!"


  • "Buy me some time here!"

I would like to better explain this to them, but my best explanation is that adding "here" gives a feeling of desperation to a sentence. Even if that is a perfect explanation of the role of "here" in such exclamatory sentences (which I doubt), it doesn't provide them with an explanation of when it should or should not be used.

Could you please explain the use of "here" in these sentences?

  • 2
    "In this matter"? As for the sense of desperation, it could be because an additional implication is "this situation is so bad that" -- it's a matter of pragmatics and idiom. I do not always read that much meaning into it, in a written sentence, though when spoken, it could convey a range of emotions.
    – Kris
    Apr 8, 2014 at 5:22
  • @Kris, do you know of any example where it would only mean "in this matter" and lack an implication of urgency/desperation?
    – BCDeWitt
    Apr 15, 2014 at 8:08
  • @Kris Now look here! ... Jun 26, 2021 at 16:35
  • Yes, pragmatics are involved. For emphasis, to show urgency. 'Here' (and 'Now', and when applicable 'No!' and 'Fire!') carry emphatic stress better than say 'Aid'. Jun 26, 2021 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


It means roughly the same thing as "here" usually means:

Bring the box over here.

I could use some help here.

Idiomatically, it is often said with extreme urgency:

I need some help here!

But there is nothing terribly abnormal about this usage. It just means "here", but more importantly.

here —

  1. in this place: in, at, or to the place where you are, or at a place near you
  2. at this point or stage: used to draw attention to a particular point or stage in a situation
  3. now: indicates a situation or event that is happening at the present time

All three of these definitions would apply.


In the examples quoted

I could use a little help here!


Buy me some time here!

the term "here" at the end gives an indication of urgency, and easily could be changed to "now" without changing its meaning.

The need the assistance right now and right here.

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