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 English Vocabulary for ESL learners 



Commonly-used idiomatic expressions.

 Expressions with HAND 



Expression Meaning Example
At hand Within reach, available to you Eva likes to have a dictionary at hand when she's writing.
By hand By a person, not a machine Our shoes are all made by hand.
On hand Near, and ready to help if necessary A medical team is on hand at all times.
Change hands Pass from one owner to another The house has changed hands many times since it was built.
Free hand Have permission to make decisions Tom was given a free hand  to put a team together.
First hand From the original source; direct or directly We obtained the information first hand from the actor.
Second hand Not new; originally owned by someone else In my first job I bought a second-hand car.
Hand in hand Closely connected or related Poverty and violence often go hand in hand.
Hands full Be very busy; have a lot to do Meg has her hands full  with three children.
Hands tied Be prevented from taking action He can't intervene; his hands are tied by an agreement.
Heavy hand Act with discipline and severity He ran the detention centre with a heavy hand.
Give/lend a hand Help someone physically That looks heavy. Let me give  you a hand.
Hand in Submit; present for acceptance Alex handed in his resignation yesterday.
Out of hand Go out of control If the situation gets out of hand, call the police.
Upper hand Have control of a situation. The authorities claim to have the upper hand.
In safe hands Be looked after by a reliable person Your baby will be in safe hands with me.
Show of hands Vote by raising a hand Could we have a show of hands on that please?
Win hands down Win easily, unquestionably Emily won the  competition hands down.




Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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