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    #1

    "The" before musical instruments

    According to LG Alexander's Longman English Grammar,
    "the" is used with musical instruments:
    Tom plays the piano/the flute/the violin
    The is often omitted in references to jazz and rock:
    This is a 1979 recording with Ellison on bass guitar

    Do native speakers of English (not jazz or rock musicians) use "the" before musical instruments in the following cases as well?


    She teaches the? piano.
    She is learning the? guitar.
    She is practicing the? violin.

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    #2

    Re: "The" before musical instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    According to LG Alexander's Longman English Grammar,
    "the" is used with musical instruments:
    Tom plays the piano/the flute/the violin
    The is often omitted in references to jazz and rock:
    This is a 1979 recording with Ellison on bass guitar

    Do native speakers of English (not jazz or rock musicians) use "the" before musical instruments in the following cases as well?


    She teaches the? piano.
    She is learning the? guitar.
    She is practicing the? violin.
    It would be interesting to hear a native English speaker's point of view.

  1. Roose's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "The" before musical instruments

    me also wants to hear your point of view

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "The" before musical instruments

    I'm afraid there is no definitive answer, some people always use the article, some people never use the article, most people sometimes do and sometimes don't.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 22-Dec-2009 at 09:31.

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    #5

    Re: "The" before musical instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    According to LG Alexander's Longman English Grammar,
    "the" is used with musical instruments:
    Tom plays the piano/the flute/the violin
    The is often omitted in references to jazz and rock:
    This is a 1979 recording with Ellison on bass guitar

    Do native speakers of English (not jazz or rock musicians) use "the" before musical instruments in the following cases as well?


    She teaches the? piano.
    She is learning the? guitar.
    She is practicing the? violin.
    I would say "She teaches piano, or she gives piano lessons
    She is learning to play the guitar. She plays guitar.
    She is practicing the violin."


    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    #6

    Re: "The" before musical instruments

    (Not a teacher)

    I agree with bhaisahab, there is no right or wrong answer, and the use of the article or not makes no difference.

    The only time you would need the article is when you are talking about the specific instrument that they are playing: "He is learning to play the saxophone he received for Christmas." or something similar.

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