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Here are two sentences:

India follows the custom of playing national anthem at the movies. [simple gerund- playing]

  • It's ‘India’ in which national anthem is played at the movies and India follows this custom.

India follows the custom of being played national anthem at the movies.

[simple passive gerund —being played]

  • It's not India in which the national anthem is played at the movies but there are other factors that play the national anthem at the movies and India follows this custom.

My question: Is my interpretation correct or have I missed something ?

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  • You mean having anthems played for them?
    – tchrist
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 5:39
  • 2
    the national anthem. If it's singular, you need an article.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 5:59
  • @tchrist what do you mean by "them", do you mean 'other nations" ? I mean other nations follow when national anthem is played at the movies,
    – yubraj
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 6:19
  • I've simplified and specied my question and i've replaced "other nations" with India.
    – yubraj
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 6:26
  • 1
    Firstly, please clarify what you are asking. Do you want to know which of those examples is correct? Secondly as Catija already says it's the national anthem and furthermore it's just India and not the India.
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 16:06

1 Answer 1

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Performers play the anthem. Audiences are played the anthem.

Also, in both examples, "the" is missing from "the national anthem.".

In the first example, the national government of India is doing the playing -- it plays the song at the movies (or directs that it must be played).

  1. India follows the practice of playing the national anthem at the movies.

In the second example, "being played (to)" is to sit and listen to music. "The practice of being played" is confusing in this context because in the first example "India" meant a government that presents the music, but in this second example "India" instead means the people of India, a citizenry that sits and listens. "Being played (to)" is also slightly odd to describe as a "practice" because listening is not an actively performed practice like playing, it is a passively received custom.

  1. In India the citizens are accustomed to being played the national anthem at the movies.

Notice these two sentences both describe the same situation, much like saying "In Zembla theaters give gifts" and "In Zembla theater-goers receive gifts."

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    Sorry, I've only just read your answer that points out "custom" is a more appropriate term. Which is why I changed the expression in my edit, so +1 from me.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 19:29
  • Is my interpretation wrong for second example sentence with "being played" : India follows the custom of being played national anthem at the movies. [simple passive gerund —*being played*] - It's not India in which the national anthem is played at the movies but there are other factors that play the national anthem at the movies and India follows this custom.
    – yubraj
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 0:49
  • The second sentence is not grammatical English. However, if the second sentence was written correctly, then your interpretation is probably wrong. "Being played" refers to audiences listening -- not the customs of other nations. Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 0:56
  • Ok, is also it ungrammatical : "India follows the custom of the national anthem being played at the movies."
    – yubraj
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 1:09
  • That is perfectly grammatical. Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 1:11

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