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    #1

    lift or raise

    When you lift a hand in farewell or lift a hand to knock on the door, is the word ‘lift’ interchangeable with ‘raise’?
    Are there any differences between two words in this situation?

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    #2

    Re: lift or raise

    Either could be used, I think. 'Raise' is a bit more formal and is more often used to talk about parts of the body.

    Not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: lift or raise

    I wouldn't use lift in those cases. Lift a hand sounds like you picked up a hand, which is not very likely.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: lift or raise

    Thank you for teaching.
    It seems that 4 people agree to GoesStation's comment.

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    #5

    Re: lift or raise

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I wouldn't use lift in those cases. Lift a hand sounds like you picked up a hand, which is not very likely.
    Does it mean that the words 'lift a hand' do not collocate very well in general or this phrase doesn't fit only those cases?
    Last edited by Weaver67; 05-Aug-2016 at 08:11.

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: lift or raise

    I would raise my hand to get someone's attention or to show support for something.

    I would lift, or not lift, a hand/finger to help someone.
    I am not a teacher

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    #7

    Re: lift or raise

    The context is important, I think, so let us consider the following excerpts:

    “…Blood leaked out of his mouth, but nothing else. It had happened too quickly to be absorbed. Anne knew that Nina had stabbed Clive, but she was not sure whether she had doped him as well. He was an ugly mess, and he was still alive, but Anne could find no emotion to feel for him. She had seen her sister ancient and dead on a stretcher this morning, probably because of Clive or someone like him. She did not even have any squeamishness left over. He moved feebly, trying to lift a hand to probe his wound. She felt uncomfortable, watching him die and unable to care about him. She did not know what, if anything, to do for him. So she left, and went after Nina. She did not want to think about him any more…”

    Bad dreams by Kim Newman, Simon & Schuster Ltd, London, 1990.

    “…Stepping around prone shapes and viscous scarlet puddles, he peered through smoldering doorframes until the thunderous crash of a collapsing roof startled him into prudence. Only when he was satisfied nothing remained to be done did he lift a hand in signal. As he slipped noiselessly into the rainforest's camouflage of leaf and vine and root, a phalanx of phantoms melted into invisibility with him…”

    Congo dawn by Jeanette Windle, Tyndale House Publishers, IL, 2013


    In either, lift a hand doesn't seem to suggest anything like pick up a hand, does it? If lift a hand in signal is OK in the second one, why should it be otherwise for lift a hand in farewell?

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    #8

    Re: lift or raise

    In the first quotation, the person being described is so weak that he doesn't have the strength to lift his own hand off the ground.

    I would not use lift in the second, but the author's meaning is clear from context.
    I am not a teacher.

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