1. On having killed the guard he dragged him into the bushes.
  2. Having killed the guard he dragged him into the bushes.

What is the difference between them?

  • 1
    option 1 sounds poncy and pretentious. – WendyG Mar 25 at 13:45
  • He dragged him? – Rusty Core Mar 25 at 14:52
  • @RustyCore he dragged the guard. – Y. zeng Mar 25 at 14:53
  • On having killed the guard is bizarre. On killing the guard is a bit better but still sounds old-fashioned to me. Apart from that there's very little difference between (1) on killing the guard and (2) having killed the guard. In this use on can suggest a tiny bit more urgency than having, but the construction with having still means that one thing was done right after the other, and can be used with things that are urgent. It's much more natural so I would use that version, although I'd put a comma before he. – Minty Mar 26 at 10:25

On is the instance, action or occurrence when something is done.

It indicates that killing the guard prompted you to hide his body - you killed him and immediately knew to hide his body.

If he killed the guard, and was content leaving him in the open, started creeping away... but then heard more guards approaching - then that would be the prompt for hiding the body, not killing him, so you'd use having killed the guard, he dragged him into the bushes.

Of course if you've recently informed the reader that he killed the guard, avoid repeating yourself with something like he dragged the corpse into the bushes.

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