Which Is Left Hand?

Key Takeaways

  • Your left hand is on the side of your body with your heart.
  • An easy way to remember is that your left hand makes an L shape.
  • Your thumbs point to the outside on both hands.
  • Other ways to tell left from right include looking at your wrist veins and wedding ring finger.
  • Left and right are from your own view, not what others see.


Have you ever been told to raise your left hand and not been completely sure which one that is? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Telling left from right can be tricky, especially if you need to figure it out quickly. This comprehensive article will walk you through several methods to easily identify your left hand within seconds.

Knowing left from right is an important skill. Giving clear directions, following dance moves, playing sports, and even just listening and responding to instructions requires knowing your left side from your right side. While it may seem basic, left vs right confusion is common. With a few helpful memorization techniques and visual cues, you can become a left-right expert!

Read on to learn foolproof ways to tell left from right in any circumstance. Simple memory tricks, hand shapes, anatomical clues, and other tips will have you quickly pointing to the correct hand. No more left and right mixups! This guide covers every strategy you need to know to determine which is your dominant left hand.

Step-By-Step Guide to Identify Your Left Hand

Which hand is your heart on?

The easiest way to find your left hand is to locate your heart. Face forward and place your hand on your chest over your heart. Whichever side your hand is on is your left side! Your heart sits towards the left section of your chest. This anatomical clue provides a fast way to identify your left hand.

Does your left hand make an L shape?

Here is a memorization trick using hand shapes. Hold your hands straight out in front of you with the palms facing forward. Look to see if one hand forms the letter “L” shape. Your left hand will naturally bend into an L shape when held this way. The index finger and thumb together mimic the lines of the letter L.

Look at your thumbs for a clue

Another way to tell left from right is to check where your thumbs point. Hold your hands out palms forward again. Look closely – you’ll notice your thumbs aim toward the outside of your body on both hands. They point away from each other rather than toward each other. This is a reliable way to discern left vs right.

Find your left wrist vein

The veins on your wrists can also reveal left from right! Flip your hands over so the palms face down. Follow the prominent vein on the inside of your wrist up from your hands toward your arms. The wrist with the vein curving to the left forearm is your left hand. Veins toward the right arm indicate your right hand.

Note which hand has your wedding ring

For those who wear a wedding ring, here’s an easy way to remember. In many cultures, wedding rings are worn on the left hand ring finger. Just check your ring finger to jog your memory! No wedding ring? Try wearing a simple band on your left ring finger for a while to get used to identifying that hand.

Make an L with your index finger and thumb

You can also make an L shape with your fingers. Hold up both hands and touch your index finger to your thumb to create a small L on each hand. Your actual left hand will match the L shape, while your right hand makes a backwards L.

Stand up and look down at your hands

If you’re still stumped, stand up and look down at your hands. Whichever hand is on the same side as your left leg is your left hand! This perspective makes it clear because your left leg is easier to differentiate.

Remember that left vs right is from your view

Left and right sides are determined from your own point of view, not from the perspective of someone else looking at you. So when you hear an instruction to raise your left hand, think from your own orientation, not how others see you. This avoids getting mixed up.

Ask someone to demonstrate left and right

If you’re still questioning which hand is which, ask a friend to demonstrate left and right from their perspective. Watch them point to their left hand. Then remember that your left is the same as theirs, even though you’re facing each other.

Practice makes perfect!

Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right away. Telling left from right takes practice until it becomes second nature. Try putting reminders like a ring or wristband on your left side. Or place a note with an L by your left hand. With repetition, you’ll soon be able to reliably identify your left and right sides.

Why Identifying Left vs Right Matters

Being able to quickly determine left from right is an important ability. Here are some reasons why it is useful:

  • Following driving directions like “take a left turn.”
  • Knowing which hand to use when playing sports.
  • Listening and responding appropriately to instructions.
  • Give clear directions to others.
  • Dancemoves and learning choreography.
  • Taking medicine labeled for left or right eye/ear drops.
  • Operating machinery safely by knowing directionals.
  • Reading maps correctly when navigating.

Confusion over left and right can lead to mistakes, awkwardness, and safety issues. By mastering techniques to recognize your left side, you can avoid these problems!

Left and Right Identification Methods Summary

  • Heart side – Left hand will be on same side as your heart.
  • L shape – Left hand naturally forms L shape when palms face forward.
  • Thumb clue – Thumbs point outward, not toward each other.
  • Wrist veins – Vein from left inner wrist curves toward left arm.
  • Ring finger – Wedding rings traditionally worn on left hand.
  • Make an L – Left index finger and thumb create actual L shape.
  • Look down – When standing, left hand is same side as left leg.
  • Your view – Determine left from your perspective, not others.
  • Ask a friend – Have someone demonstrate their left side to compare.
  • Practice – Repetition helps cement left vs right recognition.

With this comprehensive guide, you now have multiple reliable methods to quickly determine which hand is your left hand. No more left and right confusion! Whether you need a fast reminder or are teaching a child to learn their left and right, these handy tips will come in very useful.

The Origins of Left and Right

The terms “left” and “right” as directionals originate from an ancient system of orientation. Back in Roman times, augurs (priests) would observe birds flying across the sky as a ritual to interpret omens. The augurs divided the sky into sections to make sense of the birds’ patterns and positions. The left and right divisions came from the augurs’ point of view, establishing left and right as from the observer’s perspective.

This Roman practice led to our current notions of left and right based on one’s own body orientation. So when in doubt about your left or right side, remember it is based on your frame of reference, not someone else’s! With the tips from this guide, you’ll be able to point to left and right as well as the ancient Roman augurs.


Identifying your left hand doesn’t need to be confusing! With techniques like checking your heart side, making an L shape with your fingers, and finding your left wrist vein, you can quickly figure out your left from your right. Remember that left and right are from your own view, and when in doubt, have a friend demonstrate or look down at your hands.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to left vs right recognition. In no time, you’ll be able to follow directions, give clear instructions, and respond appropriately without any awkward mixups. So next time you need to know “which is left hand?”, use this guide to point yourself in the right direction!


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