"The radio" versus "The TV"


Could you please give me the justification for no THE in the second sentence?

1- I heard on [color=red]the radio that…
2- I watched on[color=red] TV that…


Hi Tom

Haven’t you asked this question before. :wink:


To be honest, Amy, I really do not remember. But yes, I may have! In fact, these months I am like a hunter who is running after many deer at the same time and would sure come empty handed. Sometimes I open quotations, then close them and open grammar books-- still not satisfied, I turn on Madonna songs, and so on and so forth.

Could you please give me the link if you remember?


Here you go, Tom:

TV or The TV?

When you refer to what you watch (the images), normally you don’t use the with TV.
I watched a great movie on TV last night.

If you want to refer to the location of something:

[i]- There is a lot of dust on the TV.

  • My cat likes to sleep on (top of) the TV.[/i]

Hi Tom,

You can watch TV (general activity) and can see something on TV. For example:

question: How did you learn about our new campaign?
answer: I saw it on TV.

Another one:
Last night I saw something interesting on TV.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Canoeing[YSaerTTEW443543]

Many, many thanks and apologies to everyone!

[size=150][color=red]Again, I could not get my point across[/size] :x

I want(ed) to know why we use an article with radio and do not use it with TV. Both are electrical devices, aren’t they?-- I heard on the radio that east -bound lanes are…I heard on TV that east-bound lanes are…

Do we agree?



After all, Amy, I am Huong’s forum mate; some things do rub off, don’t they? :lol:


Sorry I didn’t pick up on your actual question, Tom.

I’m not sure why there is that difference. I’d also be interested in hearing an explanation if anyone has one.

Be prepared, though. We may just have to chalk it to the oddities of English. :wink:


Hi Tom,

I think the distinction between the two is that television is the medium and radio tends to be thought of as the electrical device as you call it. Radio loses its article when put together with television so that we say advertising on radio and television.


TV or not TV that is the question . . . Sorry

I think this is to do with our historical experience or perception of the two devices:
“The” radio was a box in the corner with knobs and dials on it, and while it introduced us to all sorts of things in the world outside it was still just a box. You still have to use your imagination to “see” anything on it.

Then along came TV. And TV is a whole new world not just a box in the corner. It is like another country, which you can see it for yourself, without imagining it.

But I also think the people will sometimes talk about what they heard on radio, without “the”.