Discussion in 'English Only' started by vvujun, May 26, 2012.
He played the guitar and tennis on Sunday.
Can I omit "the" before "guitar" ?
If you like, but I would be more concerned about the non-parallel usage of different meanings of "to play."
No context, so we might never know if it is a concern in this case....
I am so confused.
Oxford dictionary said "When talking generally about playing musical instruments, the is usually used before the name of the instrument."
He played the trumpet in a jazz band.
She decided to take up the flute.
There is no context. It's a "Fill in blanks".
When one says usually used, it has two meanings, that you may/you may not use a the.... One has a choice, but the the form is normally used.
English is confusing, especially when dictionaries, even the good ones, truncate complex entries or weasel-word for the sake of space.
For example, Google Advanced Search returns 29 million "hits" for "play guitar."
My totally unsupported observation is that frequency of use of the definite article with "play" varies with the musical instrument involved.
Although "play guitar" is common, I don't think anybody would say 'play Sousaphone.'
Thank you very much.
Separate names with a comma.