1. A prominent musician states that guitarists find security "hiding" behind the bulky instrument.

  2. A prominent musician states that guitarists find security "when they are hiding" behind the bulky instrument.

Can we say first sentence comes from second sentence in origin?

If not! please write the correct version. THANKS

  • 1
    Didn't you ask almost exactly the same question here? ell.stackexchange.com/questions/295097/…
    – stangdon
    Aug 19, 2021 at 12:09
  • Yes, he did ask an almost identical question a few days ago. The answers he got primarily criticized the grammar and the content of the sentences he was asking about. The grammar is fixed this time. And I am sure he understands the difference between means and timing when expressed in his own language. But the difference is hidden here because of ellipsis. I do not think that failure to grasp ellipsis is silly. It must drive learners crazy. Aug 19, 2021 at 13:07

1 Answer 1


Both your sentences are grammatical and idiomatic, but they mean slightly different things.

Welcome to the murky world of ellipsis.

Ellipsis is the omission of certain words that will be understood as though present by native speakers. I shall not try to formulate rules for when ellipsis is permitted by English grammar. One of the phrases that is frequently omitted is “by means of.” Sometimes what is omitted is “means of” and sometimes “by means of.”

So the first sentence means

Hiding behind a bulky instrument is how guitarists find security

It is focused on method and means. It differs very slightly in meaning from your second sentence, which focuses on timing. The first question is IMPLICITLY about how whereas the second is explicitly about when.

An excellent question.

  • Thank you for answering. What part of speech is "hiding" in the first sentence? Can we say it's a gerund? Aug 19, 2021 at 11:35
  • It is indeed a gerund, a participle acting as a noun. Aug 19, 2021 at 12:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .