Which of the following is correct?
- Is there anything on the television tonight?
- Is there anything on television tonight?
The second sentence without the article THE is correct. Why?
When we talk about television in the sense of television programs (UK = programmes) that are broadcast (= transmitted), we DO NOT use the article THE.
- Television became widely available in the 1950s.
- I wonder what is on television tonight.
The word TV (written with capital letters) is pronounced as the individual letters T – V (which sounds like Te-Ve). This use is more common than saying the complete word “television” which has 4 syllables.
- There was a good movie on TV last night.
Sometimes we informally call the television ‘Tele’
- What’s on tele tonight?
We use the article THE when we refer to television as the device or the piece of furniture.
- Don’t put the glass on the television, the water may spill onto it.
- The television didn’t fit in the wall unit.
- Don’t sit so close to the TV.
When we talk about more than one television, or televisions in a general sense, we don’t use the article THE.
- While televisions were available in the 1930s, their popularity only increased during the late 1940s.
I hope this helped you understand when to use the article THE with the word TELEVISION.
Do you watch television to improve your English?