He amused himself playing / by playing football.

  • miss.meri91

    Senior Member
    English - South Africa
    I would definitely say 'he amused himself by playing football'

    'He amused himself playing football' doesn't sound very good to me, but I would suggest that the difference is that in this case, he was busy playing football, and in the process of playing football; he had fun.

    'He amused himself by playing football' leans more towards the meaning that he had fun when he was playing football, although he might not be playing it at that specific moment.

    I hope I haven't confused you more!
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