If I want to watch a particular channel/show, waht should I use: Could you please put on/play channel 4/News?

What should be used "put on/play"?

Thank you

2 Answers 2


For a television channel you would ask to put on a specific channel. This would be understood as changing the channel your television was on to watch, in this case, the news. This is a broadcast that your television receives and you can either tune in and watch it or... not. The broadcast is completely unaffected either way, you are not playing it. You might even say "Can you put on channel 4? They're playing Golden Girls re-runs all day and I love that show."

Playing the news sounds like you're referring to a pre-recorded video. In that situation put on would also be perfectly fine -- "Let's play a movie while we fold the laundry." / "Let's put on a movie while we fold the laundry."

The same is true for radio -- you put on (or tune to) a station, but can play or put on some music.

  • So, if I want to watch news on any channel,what should it be:put on? Could you plese put on the News? Jan 23, 2019 at 17:07
  • @It'saboutEnglish Yep! You don't need to specify the channel, you can talk about the show instead and the grammar is unchanged: "Please put on the news" / "Please put on the Olympics" / "This show is awful, please put on literally anything else."
    – Emmabee
    Jan 23, 2019 at 17:54
  • And can "turn on " be used too? Jan 23, 2019 at 18:14
  • @It'saboutEnglish Yes. You can even ask "can you turn on the news?" if the television is already on but tuned to a different channel, though in that scenario you'd probably be more likely to ask, "can you turn to the news?"
    – Emmabee
    Jan 23, 2019 at 18:16

There are a bunch of ways to say this. You are correct in that "put on Channel 5" is commonly used. Also, for the imperative, "please put it (the TV) on Channel 5" or "turn on Channel 5).

  • And what about being specific about news ,like: turn on/put on the news. Jan 23, 2019 at 17:28
  • Any news program or TV program or radio program will use "put on" or "turn on".
    – user45266
    Jan 23, 2019 at 18:16

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