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  1. #11
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    When referring to a specific instrument - he plays the piano [which is in the sitting room; which belonged to his grandmother] - or to the activity - he plays the saxophone - "the" is used.

    When referring to instruments in general - he plays a piano [which is out of tune; which is an upright; which is a baby grand]; He plays a mean saxophone - then "a" is used.

  2. #12
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Question Re: playing a/the flute

    Hi Whatsthatthing

    I inadvertenly included 'with'.

    The question is 'He is playing the/a flute.'

    Should it be 'the' or 'a'?

    Thanks.

  3. #13
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Hi Whatsthatthing

    I inadvertenly included 'with'.

    The question is 'He is playing the/a flute.'

    Should it be 'the' or 'a'?

    Thanks.
    To go back to the beginning, it depends on your context. In what context do you want to use the sentence?

  4. #14
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Hi Anglika

    The sentence is 'I am playing the flute' OR 'I am playing a flute'. You say it depends on context. However, the other members seem to agree that it should be 'I am playiing the flute.'

    Therefore I would be grateful if you would let them know whether they are correct.

    Regards

  5. #15
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: playing a/the flute

    Both are correct.

    Which you use really does depend on the context. If you want to say that the person plays a specific musical instrument [ie you are referring to the activity], then you use "the":

    He plays the flute.
    He plays the saxophone.
    He plays the piano.

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