I need to confirm if the word can be used as an alternative to: EXPERIENCE.

Example sentence:

These days, working people not only need experience, but also soft skills.


These days, working people not only need hands-on experience, but also soft skills.

Or (I want this to work):

These days, working people not only need actual hands-on, but also soft skills.

I don't want to repeat experience, experience, and then experience again in an essay. So I am asking if "actual hands-on" is grammatical.

P.S.: Since I already know the hands-on experience word, please don't insist that ONLY two synonyms are fine for better essay.

  • It's not obvious to me why "soft skills" (of communication, commitment, teamwork, etc.) should be contrasted with "[practical, hands-on] experience". Some soft skills are effectively "innate" (you've either got them or you haven't), but mostly they're things you can significantly improve with experience. Aug 18, 2019 at 15:54
  • The "Soft skills" aspect is a different topic. Sorry, lets talk about the synonyms of the "experience.
    – John Arvin
    Aug 18, 2019 at 17:36
  • should also need is wrong in your sentences.
    – Lambie
    Aug 18, 2019 at 21:01
  • Edited it. Thx.
    – John Arvin
    Aug 19, 2019 at 6:04

1 Answer 1


Both are synonymous with each other, they aren’t exactly synonymous with experience though.

Hands-on experience and actual hands-on mean:

knowledge or skill that someone gets from doing something rather than just reading about it or seeing it being done

(Cambridge Dictionary, definition for actual hands-on similar but taken from another dictionary)

Experience definition:

(the process of getting) knowledge or skill from doing, seeing, or feeling things

(Cambridge Dictionary)

So whilst experience can be gained from seeing something hands-on experience and actual hands-on can only be gained from doing it, not just seeing or reading about it.

  • 2
    They are not synonyms. One is an adjective and the other is a noun.
    – Lambie
    Aug 18, 2019 at 23:00
  • @Lambie, I think they can all be used in an essay without considering their in-depth definition hehe. Thx so much, now I know.
    – John Arvin
    Aug 19, 2019 at 6:08

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