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The other day a friend was moving house. So we decided to help. The one thng we hadn’t thought about was how he took our offer really seriously.

The new house was some 800 meters down from the old house and another friend used his little hatchback to transport most of the smaller items. Considering the number of small items there were…bags of clothes, books, computer, kitchen essentials, mattress, pillows, woollens and other paraphernalia, the friend had to put in quite a few trips with the hatchback. Then we came to the bed, and funnily enough our mover friend wanted us to physically carry the bed to his new house, through an open field and a little road. No, seriously, the bed wouldn’t dismantle, and wouldn’t fit into the hatchback and he hadn’t bothered hiring a truck to the moving because we offered to help. So yes, we were expected to lend a shoulder to the bed.

At the end of it all, by the time we were half dead from the exhaustion, he asked if we should all go eat dinner. What we didn’t know then was whether we were expected to pay for dinner after all that labour. Anyway, the point of the intro is, did we pitch in or chip in with the moving, and do we pitch in or chip in at the dinner?

Pitch in means to join forces to help or cooperate in getting something done. It’s a phrasal verb, and can be used for anything where you or another has put in a certain amount of support or help. For example:

Why don’t you pitch in with the sorting of the books?
We pitched in to clean Dave’s house before his mom arrived.
I’ll pitch right in if you want me to help with the moving.

On the other hand, to “chip in” is used when there is a financial transaction involved. Again, this is a phrasal verb and while it may also mean to interrupt with comments, usually sarcastic, in modern usage, it is mostly used when you are contributing money for something. For example:

We chipped in for the beer last night.
Don’t worry, we’ll all chip in to pay off the debt.
I’ll chip in for the gift.

You can of course still chip in with ideas here, but for the most part, you will still pitch in to make this blog a success. But if I do manage to get adverts on the blog, may be you can chip in and help me earn some too? 😛