"You are more concerned about the means rather than the ends."

What does the sentence means?

  • 3
    Have you looked up the words which confuse you in a dictionary? If not, please do so, and let us know if you are still confused. – StoneyB on hiatus May 12 '14 at 22:23

This appears to be based on the common English saying:

The ends justify the means.

What this means is that somebody believes that the results or goal of doing something (the "ends") are more important than what one does in order to get there (the "means").

Specifically, this phrase is often used when people believe that it's OK to do some bad things if it helps to get closer to doing something good at the end of the process. (A classic example would be a property developer who thinks it's OK to harass or intimidate residents of old buildings to get them to move out, because then they can rebuild the whole neighborhood into a nicer place.)

In the case of your phrase, this common saying is turned around:

You are more concerned about the means rather than the ends.

This appears to say that somebody cares more about how people are getting something done than about the ultimate goals or results.


You are more concerned about the means rather than the ends.

is saying that one is more concerned about the details of how something is done, rather than the end result.
For example if someone goes into great detail to do something, but has no experise or skill, the end result is not likely to be good. Sometimes this is just for show or for looking good.

The more ideal situation would be to obtain the necessary skills and then focus on producing the best result.

For example:

He is more concerned about how he appears when he is working, rather than the quality of the work he has completed.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.