At hand, on hand or in hand

Fictional

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Hello everyone,

Recently, I was taking to a friend of mine and he told me that he's been selected for internship in a decent company. After congratulating him, I asked him about the stipend, which they intend to give him. He replied to me and his exact words were, "I'll be getting <amount> in hand". Ever since that conversation, I have been pondering over a thought, which is, would it be correct to say, "I'll be getting <amount> at/on hand?".
 
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  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I have been pondering over a thought, which is, would it be correct to say, "I'll be getting <amount> at/on hand?". No, neither make sense. "... in hand" usually means "... in my hand" = money at his disposal (often cash and without deductions for tax, insurance, etc.)
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    They're all different. Cash in hand means you're given the cash. You can also say The situation's in hand - it's under control.
    Help was at hand - help was nearby.
    John was on hand to help us - we could ask him for help if we wanted.
    At hand and on hand are very similar in meaning. The difference, it seems to me, is that on hand implies a greater degree of purpose. John was there in order to help us, whereas at hand simply says that help was available.
    Cross-posted.
     

    Fictional

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    I have framed some sentences to fully understand the usage of all these prepositions in this context. Can someone please verify them for me?

    1. At hand- I always keep my alarm clock at hand before going to sleep.
    2. On hand- I have an alarm clock on hand, if you want I can give it you.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I have framed some sentences to fully understand the usage of all these prepositions in this context. Can someone please verify them for me?

    1. At hand- I always keep my alarm clock at hand before going to sleep.
    2. On hand- I have an alarm clock on hand, if you want I can give it you.
    These two sentences don't sound right. I don't think 'at hand' and 'on hand' go well when referring to small physical items like alarms clocks. I'd say 'I always set my alarm clock before I go to sleep.' I'd probably just say 'I've got an alarm clock.' I'd say 'The lifeboat was on hand to pick up survivors.'
    There's the colloquial 'handy'. 'I always keep a pen and paper handy in case I want to write anything down.' 'Bananas come in handy when you just want a quick bite to eat.'
    '
     

    prudent260

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    These two sentences don't sound right. I don't think 'at hand' and 'on hand' go well when referring to small physical items like alarms clocks.
    These two sentences are from Hand | Definition of Hand by Lexico:
    ‘So you can put your passport and boarding card in there, conveniently at hand at all times.’
    'It is also illegal to serve them more alcohol in that condition - and particularly as they have glass readily at hand.’

    Do they sound right? I feel they are small physical items as well.
     
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