As I saw in a comment in another thread, hiermit is usually for objects closer to you (like how we use 'this') and damit is usually for objects farther from you (like how we use 'that). Could I get a native or bilingual to confirm?
My problem with this is that it's a question, not a request for help. iI it were, would it not be "Wollen Sie mir damit helfen ? As it stands, a translation would be "Are you helping me with this"?
'Formal imperative' ? I've not heard that term. With the question mark it seems as though the commander is having doubts that his order will be obeyed. Is it recognized in the grammar books?
I'll keep track of this document. It 's useful. Thanks. On the content I did not see a single question mark, just exclamation marks, as we call them in English. I've no problem with use of exclamation marks in the originating sentence. My comment was about why was there the need for the interrogation when a command was given.
"Helfen Sie mir hiermit?" is a question, not an imperative. Semantically, it may be a request, but it's still an interrogative sentence.
Helfen Sie mir hiermit! = Help me with this!
Helfen Sie mir hiermit? = Will you help me with this?
In spoken German, the difference is expressed through intonation.
Does this mean: "Are you helping me complete this task?" or "Are you using this in order to help me?"?
I ask because there's another sentence that uses "hiermit" to translate the sentence "I'm paying with this," or something like that.
It means the former... Though I suppose it could theoretically mean the latter, I think you'd probably use different words to more clearly express the meaning.
This was a "type what you hear" exercise for me, with a rising inflexion at the end to indicate a question. I wrote "Helfen sie mir hiermit" which was marked incorrect (due to small"s" for "they". Doesn't the sentence work as "Will they help me with this?" ?
A small question: I've heard people using "bei" or "dabei" when it's about the verb helfen. Z.B: ich Hilfe dir beim Lernen Is it also okay to use "mit"? Is there any word which called "hierbei"?
Not native but I did some research (https://www.deutsch-als-fremdsprache.de/austausch/forum/read.php?4,99109), "dabei" and "hierbei" basically are interchangeable, only "dabei" indicates distant and "hierbei" indicates immediately. They both mean:
- with this/that (one item attached to another), eine Tankstelle mit einer Werkstatt dabei
- with this/that (events, situations), Kannst du mir dabei helfen?
- by doing so (as a result), Man kann sich hierbei leicht verletzen
However, "damit" or "hiermit" means: 1. with this/that (objects, items)
If any native Germans see this, please correct me if I was wrong
Not really. In English you're not really saying 'will there be a point in the future where you are helping me?'. It's just a situation where you want to ask a question and in English we get paranoid about being too direct so we regress to longwindedness masked as courtesy. In English it feels very difficult to make a direct request without hiding it behind future or conditional auxiliary verbs.
I was going to explain using "direct / indirect objects" but then came across the below website which has some excellent commentary on why this is a bad idea when learning other languages and it also explains "helfen" really well:
Thanks for the link Elle. I'm now going to think of helfen as meaning 'provide help' so that it's intransitive. I'm not convinced that converting 'direct/indirect object' to 'accusative/dative' is a bad idea. It seems to me that the two concepts almost always align from English to German.