play <with> the music box

llydonll

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hi there, I have a question about play with. When talking about some sports or musical instruments, we use play.
How about music box? More specifically, children play music box. Or children play with music box. Which one is correct? Thank you for your help.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Interesting question. I'm not sure. 'Play with the music box' sounds like they're throwing it around like a ball, or pretending it's a tiger - children play with things like that. The other possibility: they play the music box? That doesn't sound right. They play the music. In fact, the music box plays the music. What do the children do to get the music box to play music? I think I would have to say: they make the music box play.

    We don't often have to think about the specific grammar of music boxes. :)
     

    llydonll

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Interesting question. I'm not sure. 'Play with the music box' sounds like they're throwing it around like a ball, or pretending it's a tiger - children play with things like that. The other possibility: they play the music box? That doesn't sound right. They play the music. In fact, the music box plays the music. What do the children do to get the music box to play music? I think I would have to say: they make the music box play.

    We don't often have to think about the specific grammar of music boxes. :)
    Thank you, entangledbank.
     
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