at high level or at a high level

Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering which one you prefer and are they idiomatic:

1) He play basketball at a high level.

2) He play basketball at high level.

Thoughts: He is proficient in playing basketball.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I don't like either of those sentences, Sun. I understand what they mean, but they sound unnatural. He plays basketball really well. Or: He's an excellent basketball player.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I don't like either of those sentences, Sun. I understand what they mean, but they sound unnatural. He plays basketball really well. Or: He's an excellent basketball player.
    I see. How about this context:

    He shows his skills of playing basketball at (a) very high level.

    Thoughts: His skills indicates that he is an excellent basketball player.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    He shows his skills of playing basketball at (a) very high level.
    This still doesn't sound normal, Sun. I think you should forget about "at a high level" in remarks like this. This sentence is normal English: He's a skilled basketball player.

    If you want to emphasize "skills", you could express the idea this way: He has good basketball/athletic skills.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    This still doesn't sound normal, Sun. I think you should forget about "at a high level" in remarks like this. This sentence is normal English: He's a skilled basketball player.

    If you want to emphasize "skills", you could express the idea this way: He has good basketball/athletic skills.
    Get it. Thank you very much.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    But if you were using the expression "high level" in a sentence, it needs the "a".

    He plays basketball at a high level. - note that this refers to the environment (eg NBA), not the player.
     
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