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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default playing a/the flute

    The boy is playing a/the flute.

    Which article should I use?

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Either, depending on the context.

    The boy was playing a flute. The music he made was beautiful. [general statement]

    In the orchestra, the boy was playing the flute. [specific statement]

  3. #3
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Either, depending on the context.

    The boy was playing a flute. The music he made was beautiful. [general statement]

    In the orchestra, the boy was playing the flute. [specific statement]
    Thanks, Anglika.

    Can the above be applied to other musical instuments like piano, violin, etc?

    The boy was playing a piano. The music he made was beautiful. [general statement]

    In the orchestra, the boy was playing the piano. [specific statement]
    [/quote]

    Thanks in advance.

  4. #4
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    A: My son is active in the school.
    B: Oh, what instrument does he play?
    A: He plays the saxophone (or any other instrument).

    not a teacher

  5. #5
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Hi Ted

    Can I conclude that you think, with any musical instrument, 'on' should used with 'playing'?

    I am playing with a flute. ('an' should be used instead)

    Many thanks.

  6. #6
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Elaine
    I am not sure about your question(on and an)
    You say 'I am playing a/the flute', not 'with a flute'.
    You play 'with a flute' (fiddling with it) if you don't know how to play the flute!
    You can also say 'I play on the flute at the concert'.

    not a teacher

  7. #7
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    In the orchestra, the boy was playing the flute. [specific statement]

    'specific' because we are specifically referring to the instrument he plays in the orchestra, as opposed to all the other types of instruments found in an orchestra; and hence, in any composition the orchestra performs, he will specifically play the part of the score written for 'the flute'.

  8. #8
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post

    Hi Ted

    Can I conclude that you think, with any musical instrument, 'on' should used with 'playing'?

    I am playing with a flute. ('an' should be used instead)
    Hi Ted

    I am playing a flute.

    My apologies. I inadvertently added 'with'. I've amended the sentence as shown above.

    The question again is, with musical instruments, we should use 'the'.
    He is play the flute/piano/violin, etc.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 15-Aug-2008 at 10:52.

  9. #9
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    The question again is, with musical instruments, we should use 'the'.
    He is play the flute/piano/violin, etc.
    No, as mentioned above, it depends on the context.
    There's a man playing a guitar and singing on the stage.
    a - general the - specific

  10. #10
    Whatsthatthing is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I am playing with a flute. ('an' should be used instead)
    Not from what i've been told ;).

    "A" goes before all words that start with a consonant. "An" goes before any word that starts with a vowel.

    I am not a teacher.

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