Some say no, explaining that any one word is redundant. Some say yes, like me, because I think they have different meanings.

For example: On her left hand she wore no jewellery. On the other hand, however, she had a dazzling selection of rings.

  • 1
    Seems redundant. Why don't you provide an example that you think shows how they can be used together non-redundantly?
    – cruthers
    Nov 26 at 6:01
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    What is the difference of meaning between the two transitional expressions you refer to? Are they not both used for illustrating contrast? Do you retain that "however" and "but" are significantly different from one another?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 26 at 7:56
  • On the one hand, this question will perhaps probably get closed for lack of research or detail; however, on the other hand, it might possibly remain open although I doubt it.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 26 at 8:01
  • Some might say no. On the other hand, however, some might say yes.
    – Lawrence
    Nov 26 at 8:25
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    On her left hand she wore no jewellery. On the other hand, however, she had a dazzling selection of rings. Nov 26 at 11:40

They can certainly be used in conjunction, but unless there is a particular situation or reason for this emphasis I suspect that it will certainly feel redundant. Both connote that one thing is being contrasted with an other, and so in most cases just one will do the job of both.

I should have thought that the best situation for the phrase "however, on the other hand..." to be used is one in which a specious option or claim has been presented beforehand, and what follows will dismantle its claims. Additionally, I would think there should be some sense of the two items being complementary: there shouldn't be a "third hand" that could be considered.

As with all English, and all language, there are no rules. Only common & uncommon usages; comprehensible & incomprehensible phrases, and meaningful & meaningless expressions. At times, a seemingly redundant turn of phrase can add the specific nuance or emphasis that is called for. But I wouldn't be too quick to use it all the time.

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