# Thread: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

1. ## Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

Hello there. In the following sentence, I think it is natural to fill in "play" to complete the sentence.
He says that learning to read music and ________(play) keyboard is like learning maths formulas.
What do you think? Is there any alternative to make it sense? What about "playing"? Much appreciated if you can help.

2. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

It should be "play", not "playing", in my opinion.

3. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

Thank you for your time. Could you please elaborate it a bit more?
The sentence comes from the following source:
CHARACTERS—Max and Emma

SCENE 1—Dining hall, Sunville Middle School

EMMA: Max! Hi! Mr. Sosa says our band can play in the talent show!
MAX: Cool! I’ll tell Felipe to meet us in the music room after school for a practice.
EMMA: Umm. I wonder if it’s a good idea to have Felipe in our hand …
MAX: (With his mouth open) Of course it is! He’s really good at the keyboard.
EMMA: Really? He seems more interested in maths than anything else.

MAX: Well, he says maths and music are connected. He says that learning to read music and playing keyboard is like learning maths formulas.
EMMA: Then I’m sure he’s good at music, too. With Felipe on keyboard, we’ll really have an
edge over the other groups.
So why "playing" is used here in the underline sentence? Also, can we say "He says that learning to read music and playing the keyboard is like learning maths formulas and solving maths problems."? Is it natural or correct in grammar? Many thanks in advance.

4. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

1. Learning to read music and playing keyboard are ...
=Doing A and doing B are ...

2. Learning to read music and (to) play keyboard is ...
=Doing A and B is ...

When I first read your original post, I read the sentence to mean "Learning A and B is like learning C."

What do you think?

5. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

Originally Posted by rodgers white
Thank you for your time. Could you please elaborate it a bit more?
The sentence comes from the following source:

So why "playing" is used here in the underline sentence? Also, can we say "He says that learning to read music and playing the keyboard is like learning maths formulas and solving maths problems."? Is it natural or correct in grammar? Many thanks in advance.
Does this come from a Chinese school's English exam?

6. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

Yes, can you help explain the difference between them or which one is wrong in this case? The truth is that one of my students asked this question and I don't know how to answer it. So I hope someone can solve my puzzle here.

7. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

tzfujimino showed the difference:

1. Learning to read music and playing keyboard ​are ... = Doing A and doing B are ...

That sentence is talking about doing two things: One of them is learning to read music; the other is playing keyboard.

2.. Learning to read music and (to) play keyboard is ... = Doing A and B is ...

That sentence is about learning to do two things. It is about learning (a) to read music and (b) to play keyboard.

8. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

Thank you for your help. You mean that "play" is the right choice here and the sentence in the original text is wrong. Is that so? What's more, if I use "playing" here, I should say:He says that learning to read music and playing the keyboard are like learning maths formulas. Am I right? Finnally, can we say "He says that learning to read music and playing the keyboard are like learning maths formulas and solving maths problems."? Is it natural or correct in grammar?

9. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

Originally Posted by rodgers white
So why is "playing" is used here in the underline​d sentence?
See above. Always remember to invert the subject and verb when asking a question.

10. ## Re: Which one is natural, "play" or "playing"?

Thank you for your correction. Can you help me solve my puzzle?

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