How to say properly in English that a theater performance took its start?

Do they say:
1) 'The play has begun.'
2) 'The play has started.'
3) 'The play has been started.'
Or if none of the three sentences above is correct, then how?

  • 2
    #1 and #2 are fine. #3 is grammatically correct but sounds strange, because it's in the passive, and it means that somebody else has started the play, which is probably not what you mean.
    – stangdon
    Mar 21, 2017 at 14:05
  • There's another expression: The play has opened, meaning that the play has had its premiere / is now being performed. Mar 21, 2017 at 19:42
  • We tend to say, "The curtain went up eight", or "Curtain (time) is at eight." I know that is not the question, but that is the example you chose.
    – WRX
    Mar 22, 2017 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


It is best to use:

The play has begun/started.

(Both the words appear to be right...)

"The play has been started." sounds a little odd... As in, it's as if (the) play has been started for the season. If this is what you meant, it's correct.

Play has been defined as:

  1. (Noun): a dramatic work for the stage or to be broadcast.

(More at: https://goo.gl/search/Definition+of+play)

  • Alex89 said in the title that this was a theater performance, so your comments about "play" as opposed to "the play" are irrelevant.
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 21, 2017 at 14:48
  • My bad... Sorry... Didn't see it... Only read the body of the question....
    – Abhigyan
    Mar 21, 2017 at 14:49
  • @AbhigyanChattopadhyay - That's why I often exhort ELLers to write their question in the body of the question, not in the title. I will edit and fix this...
    – J.R.
    Mar 21, 2017 at 15:49

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