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    #1

    on the right / right hand side

    Hello,
    Could you tell me if there's any difference between the expressions 'on the right/left' and 'on the right/left hand side'? I'm well aware that they mean the same, but is there any difference in the register / style, or authenticity, popularity in use? It'll be great to know the view both from the UK and the States. Thank you in advance?
    Last edited by tyrp; 01-Aug-2014 at 20:54. Reason: highlighted the phrase in question

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: on the right / right hand side

    This is an opinion from a native speaker of American English. IMO, "On the right" or "on the left" are used considerably more often than "on the right side" or "on the left side". Other than that, I don't really see any difference.


  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: on the right / right hand side

    I am not a teacher.

    Are you asking about (1) on the right vs on the right hand side, or (2) on the right side vs on the right hand side?

    As a BrE speaker I would say that in (1) there is very little difference, but I could have a preference for one or the other in certain circumstances. For instance, 'the shop is on the right' but 'the shop is on the right hand side (of something).

    In (2) the addition of 'hand' could be seen as a way of making clear that we are talking about right (the opposite of left) and not right (the opposite of wrong). Also, I would understand 'on the right side of a building' to mean the wall on that side of it, whereas 'on the right hand side of a building' would mean to its right.

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: on the right / right hand side

    Thank you very much, Tarheel and Roman55. And my special gratitude for pointing out the differences with (1) on the right vs on the right hand side, or (2) on the right side vs on the right hand side. ​It's become clear now. Thanks again!

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: on the right / right hand side

    I could have said that absent context I don't really see any difference. However, Roman55 kindly provided the context. And he was, I might say, right on.


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