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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On Hand

Meaning: Present; available
Example 1:
Terri: Did you just see that used car with the “For Sale” sign parked over there? It’s a gorgeous car and it looks like new!

 Selma: Yes, I did. I called the number on the sign and talked to the owner. The mileage is really low and it drives perfectly.

 Terri: Well, you’ve been looking for a car. Why don’t you buy it?

 Selma: That’s just the problem. The owner needs to sell it fast, and he is willing to negotiate the price. But, he wants cash only.

 Terri: There’s a bank right down the street.

 Selma: Yes, I know, but I still don’t have that much cash on hand to pay for the car today and I’m afraid someone else will buy it if I wait until I can get the cash.

 Terri: I wish that I had enough cash on hand to lend to you because that is a really good deal for a car. Maybe you could borrow from your roommate?

 Selma: Yes, she might have enough cash on hand because she is really good at saving money. I think I’ll call her right now.

Example 2:

Ken: Oh, the kids are so bored and it’s summer! We have to do something. Can we play a game?
Jolene: Well…We could play volleyball at the beach, but I don’t think we have enough people on hand to make two complete teams.

Ken: I see. Why don’t we just play Frisbee at the beach. Do we have enough Frisbees on hand for 6 kids?
Jolene: Yes, I think we do. Also, Mrs. Smith already lives right on the beach and she is willing to watch the kids while they play.

Ken: That makes me feel better to have an extra person on hand to help with the kids. They can get pretty wild at times.

To be on hand means that someone or something is available or ready to be used. In example one, they are talking about having cash or money on hand. In example two, they talk about having people and things on hand to play at the beach.
This idiom can be found in the LSI textbook Reading Horizons. This book is used at LSI schools in the level 6 Reading/Vocabulary classes. For more information, please visit:

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