Which one of the following phrases is correct?

I will shake hands with him OR I will shake hand with him.

2 Answers 2


You will shake hands with him --- even if you only shake his one hand.

  • 3
    Indeed. This is because, between the shaker and the shakee, there are still multiple hands involved.
    – DopeGhoti
    Jan 8, 2014 at 7:30
  • Ah, yes. Good point --- the expression actually had me puzzled for a moment.
    – Newb
    Jan 8, 2014 at 7:39
  • 2
    Note that you can still say, for example, "I shook his hand", but as @DopeGhoti mentioned, "to shake hands with smb." concerns two hands, therefore "hand" is plural in this case.
    – Vilmar
    Jan 8, 2014 at 8:03
  • 'David Cameron was glad that no situation arose at Nelson Mandela's funeral where he was obliged to shake the hand of Robert Mugabe.' It could have read '...where he was obliged to shake hands with Robert Mugabe'.
    – WS2
    Jan 8, 2014 at 13:50

Only "I will shake hands with him" is correct, because when two people are greeting each other, there are multiple hands involved. The act of shaking hands to greet someone is called "handshake", that means literally: "hands clasped in greeting".

I would use "shake hand" in another context. For example: "I shook his/her hand since he/she is someone that I know".

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