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"Hand In" and "Hand Out": How Do We Use These Expressions?

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Fri, May 10, 2013 @ 08:17 AM

handing out flyers on the streetToday we are going to talk about two verbs that might be confusing for you. Those verbs are "hand in" and "hand out."

So what's the difference? Here is a sample sentence for "hand out"


The woman handed out flyers at the festival.




#1) Hand out

The teacher handed out the instructions on how to do the final project.

  • handing out papers in classMeaning: To "hand out" means to give something by hand to someone or to a group of people. This is often used when we talk about volunteers handing out water during a road race or teachers handing out an assignment in class.

  • Grammar Tip: This verb can be separated with the object (the thing that is being handed out). For example, we can say "Would you please hand those flyers out this afternoon at the parade?" or we can put the object after the phrasal verb and we can say, "My teacher handed out our new assignment five minutes before the class ended."

  • Examples: "Are you going to hand out used clothes at the homeless shelter this weekend?" or "I think they are handing out free ice cream samples at Ben and Jerry's."



#2) Hand in

The businessman handed in his financial report on Friday morning.


hand in

  • Meaning: We use this when we submit something that is due to someone in charge by hand such as a paper, a project, a job application, or a form.

  • Grammar tip: This can be separated with the object. We can say, "Did you hand your final paper in this morning?" or we can say, "Did you hand in your test after you completed it?"

  • Examples: "When do we have to hand in our final project in this class?" or "I tried to hand my application in at the front desk but they told me to come back later."






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Photo credits: Renato Ganoza, Mendeley.com

Topics: Phrasal Verbs

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