Lately, I have been trying to figure out the difference between these two phrasal verbs when used with commercials

To put something IN a commercial

To put something ON a commercial

And I still have not grasped the difference between IN and ON when used with put in these situations

Could you point out the difference?


This question would be greatly helped by actual examples. It is difficult to come up with a realistic scenario where "put on a commercial" would arise.

They put his endorsement in the commercial

simply means

They added his endorsement to the content of the commercial.

Nor is "put his endorsement in a commercial" include the phrasal verb "put in." The verb is simply "put."

There is a phrasal verb of "put on" that means to "present," particularly in the context of presenting a play on stage.

They put on "Much Ado About Nothing"


They presented the play called "Much Ado About Nothing."

I have never seen that usage with reference to a commercial, but I suppose it's remotely possible.

Of course, "put" is also a stand-alone verb that can take various prepositions, including "on."

They put the commercial on television

does not involve a phrasal verb and means

They displayed the commercial using the medium of television.

  • In addition to to put on = to present, there's also He's just putting you on (=teasing). But I don't know if there are any native speakers who reduce upon to just on in the context of I don't want to put upon you (=to impose, be a burden). Whatever - to my mind, these are "real" phrasal verbs, whereas OP's cited usages aren't. – FumbleFingers Oct 11 '19 at 14:59
  • Yes. I missed that one. It is not that common in the U.S., but it is far from rare. – Jeff Morrow Oct 11 '19 at 17:17

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