What is the difference between the verbs 助ける【たすける】 and 救う【すくう】?

Apparently, both mean to save.

When searching on Google, I found the same question asked on Yahoo! 知恵袋:


I was able to understand the question, but my Japanese knowledge is far from enough to understand the answer. Anyway, it would be helpful to have this question asked in English so other beginners could have a chance.

  • 3
    I know that you use 救う, never 助ける, talking about salvation in a theological sense.
    – Angelos
    Dec 17, 2016 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


助ける means to help. Not to save. About the same as extend a helping hand.

救う means to save. When helping suffering people and talking about religions, you can use this.

In everyday life, you should not use 救う. It sounds odd.

  • "regions"っていうのは"religions"のことですか? Dec 18, 2016 at 2:00
  • @broccoliforest はい、変換ミスです。。。 直しました
    – ra1ned
    Dec 18, 2016 at 2:04

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