at hand or to hand

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Australia, English
Which preposition is best?

context: Prior to the story at hand/to hand, is the story of a French man, Mr...

Also, can you please suggest an alternative to "prior to", that would better capture the idea that the two stories are related but one comes first?

  • JeffJo

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I'd say, 'Before the story at hand...'

    I don't hear "to hand" in AE very often, that I can recall.


    Canada (English)
    I don't even think "to hand" can be used at all here, so I recommend at hand in the context. However, there are many ways to make your general idea clearer. The time of narration or telling is different from the time of action or diegesis. Why don't you just mention the first story first, and the second story after that? We don't have enough context to see how or why you are referring to the stories. If you must do it in the order given, I'd say this: Next we will examine the story of a Frenchman, an episode related to the present story, but which precedes it.
    < Previous | Next >