The original sentence is: "The singer was accompanied on the piano by her sister. But what if I say: "The singer was accompanied by her sister on the piano". Does it sound odd?

1 Answer 1


I would suggest that the second is actually better than the first:

  • "The singer was accompanied by her sister on the piano"

makes it clear that only her sister was playing the piano.

  • "The singer was accompanied on the piano by her sister"

leaves confusion in the readers mind as to whether the singer was also playing the piano, and the two of them played a duet while the singer did the singing.

This, of course, may have been the case.

But do you see the subtle difference in meaning between the two?

  • I disagree. The idea of a song with piano accompaniment is so well-established in music that it would require special explanation if she was in fact accompanying herself as half of a duet. Mar 3, 2021 at 9:04
  • Well okay, but that's only clear to those people who are in the know about music. My mother and father used to play duets on the piano, and my mother used to sing at the same time. While unconventional, it is by no means unknown. I still believe the first form to be more precise. Mar 3, 2021 at 9:07
  • Ms. Kate Bunting's comment makes sense, too. And Mr. Prime Mover's comment also makes sense. I thank you both of you for your time and kindness:) Have a good day~
    – mystery
    Mar 3, 2021 at 10:04

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