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play piano VS. play the piano

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,

I've often heard Americans say "I play piano." without "the".
Do most American people usually say like that?

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 
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I'd say both equally. Omitting the "the" is just a shortened way of saying it. I don't know if it's proper, but it's common.
 
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That's a discussion about which article to use, not whether or not an article has to be used at all. Omitting it entirely is equivalent to using a definite article.
 

mdchachi

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Dear native English speakers,

I've often heard Americans say "I play piano." without "the".
Do most American people usually say like that?
Yes, both are fine but I think without "the" is probably more common. Plus it is a better pattern to teach your students because you can't use "the" in other situations like:

I play video games.
I play tennis.
 
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Both of those are formulated that way for very specific reason: "video games" is plural, and "Tennis" is a proper noun. So I can't say I agree with your reasoning. There are instances where omitting "the" in a situation like this doesn't work very well, like the word "flute". I'd say using "the" is probably the more conservative version, it's just that not using it is fine too.
 
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