What is the difference between the following? Also, if both:

  1. in the other hand and
  2. on the other hand

are correct. And what is the reason?

  • Why would someone downvote this yet provide no reason. Irritating.
    – Ringo
    Nov 14 '17 at 19:40
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    The saying is "on the other hand." I don't know for sure about the origin, so am not writing an answer, but I doubt there's a reason for "on" vs "in". It's an idiom, so it is what it is. Nov 14 '17 at 19:42
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    If you google "in the other hand" it brings up many references to "on the other hand" but few for "in the other hand". What does that tell you? I did not downvote the question but some basic research was not done, perhaps that is why. Nov 14 '17 at 19:43
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    @Ringo - Mouse over the downvote button and read the tooltip: This question does not show any research effort. (It's not my downvote, but I don't see any other reason that needs to be given.)
    – J.R.
    Nov 14 '17 at 20:07
  • Ah did not know about that tooltip. (Should info like that be displayed only on the tooltip?)
    – Ringo
    Nov 14 '17 at 21:07

On the other hand is a set phrase meaning "in a way that is different or opposite from the previous argument." (Source: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/on-the-other-hand)

She might really love me. On the other hand, she might really hate me.

In the other hand is a valid, grammatical phrase, but it's not a set phrase. It only has its literal meaning, that something is literally in the other hand.

He took the basketball in the other hand as he drove to the hoop.

If you're still wondering "why," then you might need to have a better understanding of a what a set phrase is. Here are a couple of pages that explain this.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/set+phrase https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/set_phrase

  • The question asks about "in other hand," not "in the other hand".
    – J.R.
    Nov 14 '17 at 20:08
  • Good catch. I assumed the lack of the the was a typo.
    – Ringo
    Nov 14 '17 at 21:08
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    @J.R. The title includes "the", but the question body doesn't. It's not entirely clear if they're asking about this phrase, or just general usage of "in/on [the] other hand"
    – Herohtar
    Nov 14 '17 at 22:34
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    I think it's pretty clear the OP is wondering if in the other hand is a set phrase.
    – Ringo
    Nov 14 '17 at 23:11
  • @Herohtar I agree with Ringo that the omission of "the" is a typo (twice!). I've edited the question to include it now.
    – CJ Dennis
    Nov 15 '17 at 5:06

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