he’s playing the piano but the telephone rings


Senior Member

Here is a sentence from my grammar learning book:

“He’s playing the piano but the telephone rings.”

I feel like the tense in the second part of the sentence is strange. Is it correct at all? If not how would you say this sentence?

  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Yes, there's nothing wrong with that. :)

    It describes something happening now, in the present. The guy is playing the piano when the phone rings, interrupting him. So you have a present continuous for the first action followed by the simple present for the second one.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    There's nothing wrong with the tenses, but the use of "but" seems odd. It could be read that he's pressing the piano keys but the phone rings instead of the piano making sounds.
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