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Quick answer
"En la mano" is a phrase which is often translated as "in one's hand", and "a mano" is a phrase which is often translated as "handy". Learn more about the difference between "en la mano" and "a mano" below.
en la mano(
ehn
 
lah
 
mah
-
noh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (general)
a. in one's hand
Estoy despistadísima hoy. Estaba buscando las llaves y las tenía en la mano.I'm not focused at all today. I was looking for the keys and I had them in my hand.
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a mano(
ah
 
mah
-
noh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (near)
a. handy
Si tienes a mano su teléfono, llamo al restaurante para cambiar la reserva.If you have their phone number handy, I can call the restaurant to change the reservation.
b. at hand
Me gusta tener el control remoto a mano.I like to keep the remote at hand.
c. on hand
Siempre hay alguien del personal del hotel a mano para ayudarte.There's always someone from the hotel staff on hand to help you.
d. close by
El centro comercial nos pilla a mano.The mall is close by.
e. close
Viviendo en el centro todo está a mano.Everything's close when you live downtown.
f. nearby
Si hay a mano una oficina de correos, mándame esta carta, por favor.If there's a post office nearby, please send this letter for me.
g. to hand (United Kingdom)
¿Tienes un lápiz a mano?Have you got a pencil to hand?
2. (manually)
a. by hand
Procura ahorrar agua si friegas los platos a mano.If you wash the dishes by hand, try to save water.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Todos nuestros bastones están hechos a mano.All our walking sticks are handmade.
La nota estaba escrita a mano.It was a handwritten note.
3. (used to express direction)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
El banco está calle abajo a unos cien metros a mano derecha.The bank is around 100 meters down the road on the right hand side.
Gire a mano izquierda en el siguiente cruce.Turn left at the next crossing.
4. (even)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. square
Aquí tienes el dinero que me prestaste. Ahora estamos a mano.Here's the money you lent me. We're square now.
b. all square
¿Contaste el dinero? Bueno, quedamos a mano pues.Did you count the money? Right, so we're all square then.
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