I encounter the phrase "I will appreciate your help" from time to time and it doesn't sound too honest to me. To be more specific, I don't have a problem with this phrase coming from a friend, because he will appreciate my help by "owing me one". But a stranger from the Internet, that's different, methinks.

"How will you appreciate it?" pops in my mind every time I see it, because to me, appreciation equals reward and, well, you can't reward people over the internet much. It is quite possible that I am just wrong and this is a perfectly fine figure of speech.

  • 1
    Appreciation does not necessarily mean tangible reward. An audience shows it's appreciation of a performance by applause - regardless of whether they paid an entrance fee. Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


Normally one would say

I would appreciate your help.

That is a softer, more polite way of asking. Use of the subjunctive mood indicates that nothing is assumed. It is a shorter way of saying "Should you be so kind as to give it to me, I would appreciate your help." [Edit: @As Eldros notes, to show appreciation for something is to be thankful for it. The example above could be paraphrased as "I would be in your debt if you would be willing to help me out."]

Using will instead of would seasons the sentence with a stronger flavor of expectation:

I will appreciate your help.

This is what you would say if you were fully expecting — perhaps even demanding — a person's help. It is something someone who has power over you might say, and is pretty strong. If the person is actually asking for a favor, this phrasing is very likely to offend the respondent.

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    @Axarydax: In addition to what Robusto says, one must note that to appreciate doesn't mean that there will be a reward. In this context, it means to be grateful or thankful for. Of course, one could show one's gratitude by giving back, but not always.
    – Eldroß
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 12:16
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    @Eldros: Good point. With your permission, I'll make a tiny edit to include this point in the answer.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 12:48
  • Be my guest. :)
    – Eldroß
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 13:00
  • Is I would appreciate your help using the subjunctive mood? I thought that a sentence using the subjunctive mood would be I want you be in time, or if I were rich, I would live on Long Island.
    – apaderno
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 9:26
  • @kiamlaluno: The subjunctive mood in English is considered "a statement contrary to fact, a wish, a mandative statement." But you're right that the statement as given is actually a substitute for the subjunctive, not an actual subjunctive verb form. "[T]hose compound tenses, made up of the auxiliaries should, may, might, would with the infinitive, which now express ... indeterminate action usually expressed in Old English by the subjunctive forms." [Fowler] I was actually thinking of the implied usage in the third sentence in that paragraph.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 11:31

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