22 Other Ways to Say “On the Other Hand”

You want to talk about two opposing points, perhaps in an essay. However, “on the other hand” simply doesn’t feel like the best option. Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Below, we’ve compiled a list of formal and informal synonyms for the phrase “on the other hand” so you can reduce repetition and keep your phrasing diverse!

Other Ways to Say “On the Other Hand”

  • Conversely
  • Then again
  • In contrast
  • However
  • But rather
  • Alternatively
  • On second thought
  • On the flip side
  • By way of an alternative
  • Rather
  • Having said that
  • Yet
  • Despite that
  • Meanwhile
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • On the other side of the coin
  • Contrarily
  • Inversely
  • Notwithstanding
  • Be that as it may
  • At the same time


  • The phrase “on the other hand” is grammatically correct and suitable to use in informal and most formal settings.
  • As an informal alternative to this phrase, you can say “then again.”
  • In especially formal circumstances, such as academic writing, you can use the synonym “conversely.”

Don’t go anywhere! We still need to discuss our choice of formal and informal synonyms for the phrase “on the other hand” in more detail below. We’ll even provide a few examples using each.

After that, we’ll discuss the correctness of the original phrase. Is it a metaphor?

Conversely (Formal)

If you’re wondering what to say instead of “on the other hand” in formal circumstances, our top synonym is “conversely.”

Like the original phrase, you can use this term to introduce a counterpoint to something said immediately prior.

This term is great to use in academic writing, such as an essay. It introduces a contrasting point very concisely. Therefore, it’s a better option than “on the other hand” if you’re trying to reduce your word count.

It’s also a good option to use if you want to introduce opposing information professionally. However, “on the other hand” is a perfectly effective phrase to use in professional settings as well.

Nonetheless, you can use this alternative to avoid repetition and keep your workplace correspondence diverse.

Consider the examples below to see this phrase in action:

His etchings show various dystopian images of war and destruction. Conversely, his oil paintings present the image of a lush and thriving natural world.

In reality, no human being is completely selfless nor, conversely, completely self-serving.

Then Again (Informal)

Another way to say “on the other hand” in informal circumstances is “then again.”

Like the original phrase, you can use this one to indicate that you’ve had a new thought about something you’ve said earlier. Usually, it will conflict with your previous statement.

It’s not a better phrase to use than “on the other hand.” However, it is a tad shorter and easier to jot down in a quick email or message to a friend or colleague. 

As this is an informal alternative, we wouldn’t recommend using it in highly formal correspondence or academic writing.

However, you can use it in casual conversations or professional circumstances when a less formal register is necessary. Your peers at work probably won’t bat an eye at it.

Let’s look at an email example making use of this phrase:

Dear Tom,

I’m afraid I couldn’t find the manual for the new printer. Then again, it’s a new model, so I can surely find a PDF of it online.

I’ll have a look and get back to you.

All the best,

Is It Correct to Say “On the Other Hand”?

It is perfectly grammatically correct to say “on the other hand” when you want to add a counterpoint to something you’ve said previously.

This phrase can be used in both formal and informal settings. However, it is generally not preferred in academic writing. Some academics believe that the phrase on its own is too informal.

Therefore, you can use our list of synonyms to mix up your language or to find more academic versions of this phrase for your essay.

Additionally, “on the other hand” is the only correct version of this phrase.

Saying the phrase as “on another hand” or “in the other hand” are common mistakes. Nonetheless, both of these variations are incorrect.

This phrase is an idiom. It creates an image of a person holding one idea in one of their hands and another contrasting idea in the other.

Of course, one cannot literally hold a thought in their hand. Thus, this phrase can also be considered a metaphor, comparing a point of view or thought to some tangible object.

In conclusion, the phrase “on the other hand” is grammatically correct and suitable to use in most circumstances. However, one of our alternatives may be preferred in academic writing.

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