compare: in hand, at hand, on hand. hey I always confuse the usages of these verbal phrases. could anyone explain with examples? ( i guess their meanings may overlap with each other?)
Jul 31, 2014 6:45 AM
Answers · 4
I would have to disagree slightly with the previous submissions, just based on my own personal experience. These idiomatic prepositional words can be very tricky when learning a new language but I will do my best to explain their general meanings. in hand (under control, in procession of): A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. at hand (something will arrive or occur but has not occurred yet) - also not used very much from my experience: the time is at hand. on hand (something is available, accessible, near) this one I have experienced before and used myself: do you have any tissue on hand by any chance? I believe some people may use at hand and on hand in similar situations to express similar meanings to the two can be interchanged depending on one's dialect. But again this is just my thoughts. here are some examples from real life English texts... There were plenty of big names on hand plenty of supporters were on hand to greet him President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was on hand at a Tehran nuclear facility Give me a dozen of whatever you still have on hand because doctors do not have the medical equipment at hand to save them. inventing combinations that are appropriate for the situation and the people at hand do you intend to know when the correct moment is at hand? It is not as if other solutions are at hand As soon as he's got the survivors in hand He exits again with paper cup in hand I responded, and walked to the docket, paperwork in hand the cloaked figure approaching him, pistol in hand (All examples from BYU) Hope this helps, Nick
July 31, 2014
I'll give an example for each that I hope will explain their usage. The project is on schedule, it's in hand. I don't have the project plan at hand right now, can we discuss it later? The manager is on hand to discuss the project if he's required.
July 31, 2014
perhaps you should add underhand and backhand! For 'in hand' think of having the reins 'in hand' and so controlling the horses; inone's hand, still unused, under control, being attended to 'At hand' = close by - well here I am lying down, eating relaxing and the slaves are at hand, at my beck and call, to give me peeled grapes. on hand = in your possession by hand
August 8, 2014
"At hand" means that it is happening right now. "On hand" usually means that it is coming up, or about to take place. "In hand" is usually only used as part of an expression: "I've got this in hand." American English speakers rarely use "in hand." I'm American and even I was confused at first ;)
July 31, 2014
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