These three micro-dictations all contain the expression ‘upper hand’. Complete each exercise, and then try to guess the meaning/usage of the expression from the context.
…I’m not saying it will be the easiest negotiation in the world, but…
The structure I’m not saying…but is a way of making a comment in a more indirect/polite way. This is especially useful when criticising someone or giving negative feedback. e.g. I’m not saying it was your fault, but you should have called the client to check first.
Accent: England (RP)
Accent: North America
the upper hand: meaning and explanation
This is a very useful idiom for identifying who has the most power or control in certain situations, such as during meetings or negotiations.
If someone has the upper hand, then they are in a stronger or more powerful position than other people involved in the situation (see micro-dictation 2).
If someone gains the upper hand then something has happened which puts them in a stronger position than before (see micro-dictation 3).
When you want to talk about the reasons for someone being in a stronger position than others, you can talk about the things that give them the upper hand (see micro-dictation 1).