“I can’t help it…”

Now if this were … “I can’t help you” or “I can’t help him” or “I can’t help them”… it would be easily translatable.

In French, for example, we’d say literally: “Désolé, je ne peux pas vous aider” ou “Je ne peux pas t’aider … dans le sens de “Je ne peux pas te donner un coup de main” , “Je ne peux pas te dépanner … ” “Je ne peux pas vous être utile…” ou même “Mon cher ami, si vous saviez …” … etcetera.

But the “it” … changes everything! Unless you’re talking about Minerva,  your pet cat, or Tolleston, your pet dog …  for example …,

“I can’t help it” is what someone says when they’re doing something compulsively. Indulging in something. Having an uncontrolled reaction. Cleptomania, for example … just picking up something that doesn’t belong to them.  Maybe having … one more drink.

Just listen: 

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In French, we might now translate this as:

“Je n’y peux rien…” ou “Je ne peux pas m’empêcher …” ou “C’est plus fort que moi …”

Apparently, it’s said on both sides of the Atlantic. As much by women as by men?

Why did I put this little thing in here today?

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