Le Baron wrote: Doitsujin wrote:
Le Baron wrote:It seems to me 'mit' here (in that unit mit an die Hand geben) functions as 'by'; as in: by giving you a hand
That's an interesting theory, but by giving you a hand
would almost always be translated as "indem
ich Dir/Ihnen zur Hand gehe."
I'm pretty sure that this redundant "mit" usage is just a regional, non-standard variation. When you search for zur Hand gehen
on Glosbe not a single example of "mit
zur Hand gehen" is shown. The same goes for an die Hand geben
and Linguee shows similar results: zur Hand gehen
and an die Hand geben
Is there no difference made between giving a hand literally and figuratively as in assisting someone?
about the "mit": I just thought a little bit and I'd say that mit may actually come from the word "mitgeben". The word "mitgehen" exists too, but has quite a different meaning and therefore cannot be used in this context. It's more like following, going with someone together to some place, which is quite different from helping/assisting.
Instead "mitgeben" and "geben" still mean pretty much the same thing and are therefore in this context exchangable. The version with "mit" for "mit an die Hand geben" is definitely widely used. (Try a google search
Wortbedeutung.info reminded me also about "mit auf den Weg geben", which has pretty much the same meaning as "(mit) an die Hand geben": You're giving someone something they can take with them and continue their journey. They can decide how to use the advice/tool later on. I'd definitely accept a version without "mit" here - "auf den Weg geben". Still means the same and sounds fine to me.
If you want to have a literal meaning there's "jemanden die Hand geben" (more like shaking hands) or "jemandem etwas in die Hand geben" (putting something into someones hand)