Help vs. Aid

Difference Between Help and Aid

Aid and help refer to an assistance provided to one who is experiencing a difficult time. This assistance is provided selflessly. It is the human nature to help and assist others when they are in distress. The words ‘help’ and ‘aid’ are confusing to some people. The meanings of the two words are roughly same. However, the difference between the two persists. Let us discuss the difference between the two.

Aid is a noun in English which rarely used as a verb. On the other hand, ‘help’ is mostly used as a verb and also used as a noun. Help means ‘an act of assisting’. In some phrases only ‘aid’ is used instead of ‘help’ such as ‘legal aid’, financial aid’ and ‘humanitarian aid’.  See the example below:

John always helps me

He cried for help.

The Government offers financial aid to some private colleges.

In the first sentence, the word ‘help’ is used as a verb while in the second sentence it is used as a noun. In the third sentence, the word ‘aid’ is used as a noun. ‘To aid’ means ‘to assist’. ‘Aid’ as a noun refers to any item such as ‘food’, ‘money’, etc. in time of distress. For example other countries provide an aid to a country facing a natural disaster like earthquake and tsunami. When assistance is provided in the form of ‘money’, it is called monetary aid. The help may be moral or emotional also. On the other hand aid is purely material. So, help and aid cannot be used interchangeably. Help is the real act of assistance while aid is the noun referring to the assistance which is being provided in the act of ‘help’.


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