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Is there any difference in between those? I feel sometimes there's a hard thing to catch when people say somethings like

Don't play [ a / the ] fool.

also. Is it just you use 'the' when you mentioned it earlier in the conversation and 'a' for the opposite?

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Is it just you use 'the' when you mentioned it earlier in the conversation and 'a' for the opposite?

It is correct, but not complete.

You can use "the" even if "fool" was not used previously. The following meaning is implied:

Don't play the fool (of the group).

But I would say that this is better:

Don't be a / the fool.

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