it can't hurt

“It can’t hurt!”

It can’t hurt is a brilliant English phrase to make you sound like a native English speaker! I personally use this one all the time 🙂 English vocabulary like this is great but is only effective when used properly in context so have a read of my examples and then see if you can use it the next time you’re communicating in English.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

It can’t hurt is used to give advice. You are saying to someone that they should do something because, in your opinion, it might have positive results and it won’t have any negative results.

FOR EXAMPLE

Perhaps your friend feels that they deserve a pay rise at work. You advise your friend to ask their manager for a payrise because you know they won’t lose their job but they might get a salary increase.

Perhaps your brother wants to take his piano exam but he’s not sure if he will pass it. You advise him to try the exam because it doesn’t matter if he fails but he might pass it.

HOW CAN I USE ‘IT CAN’T HURT’ IN AN ENGLISH CONVERSATION?

You say to your friend:

Well, it can’t hurt to ask! Just arrange a meeting with him. He’s not going to fire you!

You say to your brother:

You should take the exam. It can’t hurt to try!


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WRITING CHALLENGE

Can you think of any other situations when you might use this English phrase? Pop your answers in the comments boxes below 🙂
Note – If you use a verb after this phrase, you need the infinitive form (e.g. It can’t hurt to ask).

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Published by

TheEnglishEnglishTeacher

Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

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