On one/other side vs. on one/other hand

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: On one side, he’s boring. On the other side, he’s rich!
RIGHT: On one hand, he’s boring. On the other hand, he’s rich!

When you are introducing two sides of an argument, it makes sense to use the term ‚side‘ – on one side this, on the other side that. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work in English.

We use the word ‚hand‘. Why? Well, think of a typical English man – your teacher perhaps… Imagine him weighing up two options – he’s probably got his hands out, right? Left hand for one option, right hand for the other. Us English love to use gestures.

So that’s what we say – on one hand, this, on the other hand, that.

Also notice the use of ‚the‘ in ‚the other‘ – this is important. If you omit the ‚the’…well, it sounds like a foreigner trying to speak English. “On one hand…on other hand” – nope, definitely not a native.