On the other hand...

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Lee Hon Chor:
Hi,
I went to the English Centre at my university to practise English speaking. The instructor said most Chinese learners of English misused the phrase "on the other hand" which to her meant "in addition". I just looked it up from the dictionary which said "on the other hand" was "used to introduce different points of view, ideas, etc., especially when they are opposites" (source: Advanced learner's English-Chinese Dictionary the 6th edition). It seems this explanation contracts what my instructor said. Could anyone help clarify it by examples where appropriate? Thank you in advance.

David
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Richard Maurer:
I went to the English Centre at my university to practise English speaking. The instructor said most Chinese learners of English misused the phrase "on the other hand" which to her meant "in addition". I just looked it up from the dictionary which said "on the other hand" was "used to introduce different points of view, ideas, etc., especially when they are opposites" (source: Advanced learner's English-Chinese Dictionary the 6th edition). It seems this explanation contracts what my instructor said. Could anyone help clarify it by examples where appropriate? Thank you in advance.
The dictionary is right. It is a common expression and I have never encountered an "in addition" sense.
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also. (sometimes there is a second other hand)
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Steffen Buehler:
[nq:2]I went to the English Centre at my university to ... are opposites" (source: Advanced learner's English-Chinese Dictionary the 6th edition).[/nq]
[nq:1]The dictionary is right. It is a common expression and I have never encountered an "in addition" sense.[/nq]
Can one still misuse it by not putting an "on the one hand" some sentences before? I was told by an Irish colleague to use it only together with the other idiom. So my question: is a single "on the other hand" strange to your ears?
Best regards
Steffen
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Areff:
[nq:1]Can one still misuse it by not putting an "on the one hand" some sentences before? I was told by ... only together with the other idiom. So my question: is a single "on the other hand" strange to your ears?[/nq]
Not strange, and very frequently heard. But I myself think that it's more proper to have an "on the one hand" preceding it.
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Django Cat:
[nq:1]Hi, I went to the English Centre at my university to practise English speaking. The instructor said most Chinese learners ... explanation contracts what my instructor said. Could anyone help clarify it by examples where appropriate? Thank you in advance. David[/nq]
What my Chinese-speaking students do is use 'on the other hand' when they are discussing something which follows sequentially rather than providing a contrast with the previous idea.
While we're here, please don't start your assignments with the word 'nowadays'.
DC, EAP Teacher amongst other things
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CyberCypher:
[nq:1]Hi, I went to the English Centre at my university to practise English speaking. The instructor said most Chinese learners ... this explanation contracts what my instructor said. Could anyone help clarify it by examples where appropriate? Thank you in advance.[/nq]
The dictionary is correct: it is used to introduce one or more different points of view. The instructor has an idiosyncratic understanding of the meaning of the phrase. I've never heard the students in my classes in Taiwan use "on the other hand" incorrectly. "Meanwhile", "by the way", and a few others, yes.
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Dick Chambers:
[nq:1]I went to the English Centre at my university to practise English speaking. The instructor said most Chinese learners of ... in advance. The dictionary is right. It is a common expression and I have never encountered an "in addition" sense.[/nq]
Yes, I agree with all the earlier posters, the dictionary is right. The supposed "in addition" meaning is incorrect.
The original poster asked for examples.
1. Your tutor got it wrong on this occasion. On the other hand, this is thefirst time she has ever been wrong on a question of this sort, and she is normally an excellent tutor.
2. The shirt was beautiful, exactly what I wanted. On the other hand itcost £80, four or five times the amount I would normally pay for a shirt.

The above two examples do not need the "On the one hand ... " introduction that Areff has recommended. In BrE, such an introduction is usually thought to be redundant. However, here is a case where it does appear to improve the sense:-
3. On the one hand I found her very attractive, while on the other (hand) Iwas utterly repelled by the fascist ideas she was spouting.

If you use Areff's introductory phrase, it is optional whether you repeat the "hand" in the second half of the sentence. For that reason, I have placed it in brackets.
Richard Chambers Leeds UK.
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Lee Hon Chor:
From your use of 'contracts' when you mean 'contradicts' I think there may be a possibility that you misunderstood her. Use of www.Google for examples ought to clear things up for you.
Thanks for your reply and pointing out my mistake.

I'll send an email to the instructor for her clarification.

David
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