Watch TV or Watch the TV. Which is Correct?

We generally omit the article (the/a) before TV or television to refer to the programs broadcast in this way.

We generally omit the article (the/a) before TV or television to refer to the programs broadcast in this way.

I don’t usually watch TV in the summer.

When speaking about a particular device or electronic equipment, use the article “a” or “the” according to the standard grammar rules.

Do you have a television in your room?

Switch off the television and go to bed.

1. When to Use the Article 'The' With TV

We commonly use the phrase “watch TV” or “watch television” to talk about watching TV programs or refer to the medium that allows the transmission of visual images. In this context, the noun TV is uncountable and should not be preceded by the article “a”.

They watched the game on TV.

They watched the game on a TV.

We generally avoid the article “the” as well.

My child is watching TV.

I watch TV for about three hours a day.

Normally, including the article “the” or “a” would imply that we are speaking about a particular device.

She turned on the television to watch the evening news.

We have a television in every room.

Relative frequency of the phrase watch TV
"Watch TV" vs. "Watch the TV" in books through time
Source: Google Books Ngram Viewer

Keep in mind that, however, that we say listen to the radio (with the article "the") and listen to music, but "watch TV".

Robert enjoys being in his room where he can listen to music, listen to the radio, and watch TV.

Note also that the correct preposition to use with TV/television is almost always “on”, not “in”.

We watched a movie on TV.

We watched a movie in TV.

But you can use the preposition "in" to refer to the television industry.

My brother works in television as a sound technician

2. TV vs. Television

TV is short for television. Both terms can be used interchangeably in most situations.

I love watching TV.

I love watching television.

In everyday English, however, people commonly say TV rather than television.

What’s on TV tonight?

Relative frequency of the phrases TV and television
"TV" vs. "Television" in books through time
Source: Google Books Ngram Viewer
Share this article: Link copied to clipboard!

You might also like...

Leggings Are Or Leggings Is. Which Is Correct?

Knickers Are Or Knickers Is. Which Is Correct?

Jeans Are Or Jeans Is. Which Is Correct?