I am trying to say I will help someone read a book.


Is this correct?

Sorry if the question is off-topic. I am very new to Japanese and don't yet fully understand how to build sentences larger than very basic ones.

  • 3
    You posted your question with title “Is this correct?” This title is extremely vague; there are probably hundreds of questions which this title can refer to! When you ask a question next time, please try to attach a specific title to your question. Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


No, that sentence is incorrect for two reasons.

  • が after 本 means 本 is the subject of the verb. 本があなたをたすける means "The book helps you", which is not what you want to say.
  • たすけよむ is probably grammatical but it makes no sense here, because it means something like 'read while helping' rather than 'help (someone) read'. Instead, use [dictionary form of the verb] + のを助ける. here is a nominalizer, and あなたが本を読むの means "your reading the book", which serves as the object of the verb 助【たす】ける.

The correct sentence would be:


  • 1
    Shouldn't it be 手伝う?
    – Angelos
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 23:10
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    Wouldn't it be more natural to leave out あなた(が)?
    – Darcinon
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 0:48
  • 1
    助ける can be used when you know one has a great difficulty doing something without you. 手伝う can also be used when one can do it alone but you want to help them anyway. So I feel 本を読むのを助ける is acceptable while 部屋の掃除を助ける is a bit unnatural.
    – naruto
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 2:11
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    @Darcinon I just fixed the grammar, but as you said, my sentence is not colloquial and is unlikely to appear in real conversations between native speakers. (I would probably say "読むの手伝ったほうがいい?" to my friends.)
    – naruto
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 3:29

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