The English sentence has several meanings:
He applauded me. (more often plural)
He helped me.
He held out his hand to be shaked/shaken.
He held out his hand to be taken/grasped. (a romantic gesture or a possible conjunction of 2 and 3)
I doubt that Italian has adopted the first one. But has it incorporated the second sense? I doubt it, since "aiutare" is a good verb. But which option is more likely to be better for option 3 and 4?
This is a long-winded version of LynnSerafi's quetion. Is there an answer?
Actually the Italian phrase means only the second: "he helped me".
"He applauded me" corresponds to "battere le mani" (applaudire).
"He held out his hand to be shaked/shaken" is "dare la mano" (see above).
"He held out his hand to be taken/grasped" is "porgere / tendere la mano", that can be for the purpose of 3 or something else. You can also say "porgere / tendere una mano", eg for help you to lift, but it isn't idiomatic.
So I tried changing this to "He gave her a hand" 'Lui lei diede una mano'. Which reverso.net translated as "She gave him a hand". So I went to 'lei lui diede una mano'. Which reverso.net also translated as "She gave him a hand". Working the other way in reverso 'He gave her a hand' becomes 'Lui diede lei una mano'. is this correct? If so why not 'lui diede mi una mano' for 'he gave me a hand'? Thanks.
Actually not all the translations by reverso.net are right.
"He gave her a hand" = "Lui le diede una mano" and "Lui diede a lei una mano".
"She gave him a hand" = "Lei diede a lui una mano" and "Lei gli diede una mano".
"He gave me a hand" = "Lui mi diede una mano" and "Lui diede a me una mano".
Emik73: Yes that's correct. To give someone a hand mean to help that person. That said the English has another idiomatic meaning, i.e., to applaud someone or someone's performance, as in "Let's give this little singer a hand!" as everyone claps. I don't know if the italian idiom 'dare una mano' has the same meaning.