He played the guitar and tennis on Sunday.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by vvujun, May 26, 2012.

  1. vvujun

    vvujun Member

    Changsha, China
    Chinese-Mainland
    He played the guitar and tennis on Sunday.

    Can I omit "the" before "guitar" ?
     
  2. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    If you like, but I would be more concerned about the non-parallel usage of different meanings of "to play."
     
  3. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    vvujun, yes.

    GF..
     
  4. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    No context, so we might never know if it is a concern in this case....

    GF..
     
  5. vvujun

    vvujun Member

    Changsha, China
    Chinese-Mainland
    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.
     
  6. vvujun

    vvujun Member

    Changsha, China
    Chinese-Mainland
    There is no context. It's a "Fill in blanks".
     
  7. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    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.

    GF..
     
  8. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    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.'
     
  9. vvujun

    vvujun Member

    Changsha, China
    Chinese-Mainland
    Thank you very much.
     

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