How to Play Computer

I find it very common for non-native English speakers to use the word “play” with the word “computer”.

Example:

Mom: What are you doing, Miyen?
Miyen: I’m playing computer. I need a break from doing homework. (X)

What’s wrong with the word “play“? Nothing, except that you can’t play computers.

  • play (v.) = enjoy

There are other meanings, but in this post, I’d like to focus on the meaning of the word that we all know and have used many times – “play” to enjoy.

Corrected version:

Mom: What are you doing, Miyen?
Miyen: I’m using the computer. I need a break from doing homework. (√)

OR,

I’m playing computer games. I need a break from doing homework. (√)

Therefore, you see that we can play computer games, but not computers; we can use computers to play those games but we cannot play computers. 😛

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Posted on January 14, 2010, in Word Power and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sir if my 3 year old brother messes around with my computer will it be right to say “don’t play with my computer”? Thanks

    • Ah yes, that is acceptable because the word “play” in your sentence doesn’t mean “enjoy” 🙂
      or just say “Don’t touch my computer!”

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