Community Web Version Now Available
Raise one or two hands? What is the difference between saying "Raise your hand." and "Raise your hands."
Dec 20, 2007 8:36 AM
Answers · 2
"Raise your hand" is used in a question/answer situation. Eg: The teacher said to her class, "Raise your hand when you have the answer" ----- "Raise your hands" is used by police and criminals. Eg: The robber said to the man, "Raise your hands or I kill you." The police said to the robber, "Raise your hands and surrender!" (Usually, "Put your hands in the air and surrender"
December 20, 2007
I think it depends on the situation. Say for example you are in class with many other students. The teacher wants to make sure everyone understands and so she says, "if you have a question raise your hands". Since she is talking to many people, even if she wants everyone to raise only one hand if they have a question, she uses the plural "hands". This is not grammatically correct however. Since she is talking to "everyone" as individuals and not as a group to see which individuals understand, she should say "raise your hand if you don't understand" If someone wants you to raise both hands, she would say, "raise both hands"
December 20, 2007
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Japanese
Learning Language
English, Japanese