“On the one hand” and “on the other hand” usually go together when you’re trying to make two contradicting points. This isn’t always the best choice available. It would help to read through this article to find some good synonyms that work in both formal and informal writing.
The preferred alternatives are “although,” “however,” and “despite the fact.” You can use these to introduce contrasting ideas from the previous sentence. Most of the time, they will introduce a new sentence to follow on from the one before, but they can also come after a semicolon.
“Although” is one of the best choices when trying to show contrast in your writing. It’s a good option that you should include at the start of a new sentence when you are deliberately trying to counter your previous argument.
“Although” is a very common word for both formal and informal writing. You don’t have to use trigger words in the previous sentence for “although” to counter an argument.
- There were a couple of issues that were raised in the meeting. Although, it didn’t look like anybody was willing to fix them.
- I’m not sure if there’s going to be a problem later down the line. Although, I’ve put things in place to try to minimize that risk.
- She told them everything that happened on that day. Although, there were still a couple of issues that didn’t seem to get raised.
“However” is a great conjunctive adverb you can use in a sentence. It’s most commonly seen at the start of a new sentence that counters the previous one. You might also find it used after a semicolon to introduce a new clause to the sentence.
Conjunctive adverbs are similar to conjunctions. They can connect two independent clauses with each other, but they’re a bit more complicated than that.
Conjunctive adverbs like “however” and “although” only work when they come after a period or semicolon. You cannot place a comma before adverbs like this and expect them to work like other conjunctions like “and” or “but.”
- I knew there was going to be something else that needed to be done. However, it was time for me to go home.
- We wanted to split amicably, but we weren’t sure how to do it. However, we managed to figure out a way to make it work.
- I’m telling you the truth about all of this. However, I can understand why you might not want to believe me straight away.
Despite The Fact
“Despite the fact” (or just “despite”) works well to introduce a conflicting idea. If you want to contradict something you just wrote about, you can use “despite” to show that you’re trying to introduce a new idea.
“Despite” is also a little more versatile than the other choices before it. You can use it at the start of a new sentence before a contradiction even needs to occur.
As long as you word the sentence in a way that shows a contradiction, you can use “despite” to start a sentence. It also works well in the middle once a contradiction has already been stated.
- I thought about all of the things that might have affected us here, despite the fact that there were no real reasons for me to stick around.
- Despite the fact that someone has already mentioned it, I still believe there will be a way to change how we do things.
- Despite the fact that he has not said a word yet, I think he still means well. You just have to approach him to find out for yourself.
In Spite Of The Fact
“In spite of the fact” is a good choice that replaces “despite the fact.” “In spite of” and “despite” are synonymous. Most people prefer using the simpler “despite,” but that doesn’t mean that “in spite of” isn’t effective in some cases.
For the most part, “in spite of” is redundant. Most of the time, it will be shortened to “despite” to help with comprehension and conciseness.
Just like “despite the fact,” “in spite of” usually works best at the start of a clause when a new clause comes in the middle of the sentence.
- I know that a lot is going on here. In spite of the fact that things are difficult, there are always going to be ways around it.
- In spite of the fact that someone has made things challenging, I’m positive that we can get through this together.
- In spite of the fact that there are no reasons why you should contend with this, I understand why you might hold this position.
On The Other Hand
“On the other hand” doesn’t need to be set up with “on the one hand.” You can remove the redundancy of “on the one hand,” and the meaning will still be the same.
“On the other hand” should only ever come after a former sentence. It is used to show a conflicting idea with whatever you’ve just discussed.
- We tried to make things work a little better. On the other hand, it seemed like nobody was willing to give our new methods a try.
- It happened all so quickly, and nothing could have stopped that. On the other hand, maybe we didn’t try hard enough.
- I’m not sure there are any other ways we can get this done. On the other hand, I would like to try and come up with a solution.
“Even though” is a great choice that introduces a conflicting idea. It shows that something is still true, “even though” something else might have been stated that seems to contradict whatever the new idea is.
- She wanted something different for her family, even though they hadn’t been very nice to her over the last couple of weeks.
- I’m not sure there’s anything left to say here. Even though I really want to say something, I just think it’s best left unsaid.
- Even though people have approached me to share their best wishes, I still don’t feel any better about what happened.
“In contrast” gives you a way of showing a contrasting point of view. “Contrast” is used more obviously in this phrase to show that you are trying to show the opposing view of something.
It works best when you start a new sentence with this one. You’ll often find that it links well with the previous statement.
- Things happen for a reason, and that’s okay. In contrast, some things just happen for the sake of it. I hate that.
- I’m not sure she wanted to go through with that. In contrast, she was clearly trying to get something out of him.
- There were a couple of issues raised at the meeting. In contrast, some things needed to be cleared up before.
To Contrast This
“To contrast this” is an alternative for “in contrast.” It shows that you are “contrasting” a particular view or reason. It’s best to use something like this when presenting opinions or ideas that others might want to go against.
- I told them all of the problems as soon as I spotted them. To contrast this, Jack didn’t mention a single one until it was too late.
- We wanted the same things for each other. To contrast this, the other couple decided that they no longer wanted to meet up.
- Here are some issues that could be fixed. To contrast this, you can look into the following procedures to see what you can change.
To Go Against This
“To go against this” is another great option. It’s a synonym that shows there is a debate or disagreement in your writing. “Go against” implies that your own thoughts or opinions have been disagreed with, which can be interesting in writing.
- I have introduced a new idea that’s worth discussing. To go against this, I’m interested in learning what people might have to say.
- The new debate team is going to do a great job. To go against this, I know of a few people who don’t appreciate the selections.
- I thought there were some issues to raise. To go against this, I actually think the new manager has done a spectacular job.
On The Contrary
“On the contrary” is a good way of showing contrasting thoughts or statements. It works well to show that you are contradicting the previous thing you mentioned.
“Contrary” is a good choice of word when it comes to making a conflicting statement. It shows that you’re considering both sides in your writing.
You’ll often find this one in formal writing rather than informal cases.
- There were many issues here. On the contrary, it seemed like everyone had already committed to fixing quite a lot of them.
- I wanted to let you know that I’m changing my mind. But, on the contrary, someone is going to have to change theirs too.
- Oh, on the contrary, sir. I don’t believe you’re telling the truth, and I have a few things here that should be able to prove that.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.