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  1. #1
    outofdejavu's Avatar
    outofdejavu is offline Member
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    Smile in (the) water & play balls

    Dear All:

    I have some confusion over the following two sentences.

    1) Please don't feed the goose in (the) water.
    1-a) "Water" imply, say, the pond in a park or the river.
    Is the article "the" needed?
    Will there be any difference with or without "the"?
    1-b) Is this sentence idiomatic?

    2) They are happy when they play balls.
    "Play balls" is like a literal translation from Chinese.
    In Chinese, "play ball" is said to mean "engaging a kind of ball sport."
    What kind of ball sport is only known the speaker and the listeners who are involved in the conversation.
    I was wondering whether it is acceptable in English. If not, what is the more idiomatic way to say and write "engaging in a kind of ball sport"?


    Best Regards
    Last edited by outofdejavu; 07-Oct-2008 at 00:52.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: in (the) water & play balls

    Quote Originally Posted by outofdejavu View Post
    Dear All:

    I have some confusion over the following two sentences.

    1) Please don't feed the goose in (the) water.
    1-a) "Water" imply, say, the pond in a park or the river.
    Is the article "the" needed? Yes
    Will there be any difference with or without "the"?
    1-b) Is this sentence idiomatic? It would more likely be "Please do not feed the birds" - which would include geese, ducks, moorhens, swans and any other birds on the pond or lake.

    2) They are happy when they play balls.
    "Play balls" is like a literal translation from Chinese.
    In Chinese, "play ball" is said to mean "engaging a kind of ball sport."
    What kind of ball sport is only known the speaker and the listeners who are involved in the conversation.
    I was wondering whether it is acceptable in English. If not, what is the more idiomatic way to say and write "engaging in a kind of ball sport"?

    You would specify the game/sport: baseball, cricket, football, soccer, rugger, tennis, basketball, rounders, netball etc.

    "To play ball" is an idiom meaning to agree to do what someone asks you to do, or to agree to work with someone in order to achieve something together


    Best Regards
    ..

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