If someone's watching a show and someone changes the channel, I know that it's natural to use "Change it back!" or "I was watching that!" but can this be used too:

Put it on!

And when generally speaking:

I put on X. (show)

  • In AmE we would not generally say put on NBC, although such a thing would be completely understood in context. We would say turn on NBC.
    – EllieK
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


You are more likely to say Put it back on than just Put it on.

Generally speaking, you put on the television set. But people would understand put on a show to mean dialling it up on the television set.

The expression can also be used in the context of producing a show - in the sense of putting on a performance for an audience.

  • So what's the best way to express it when it is dialed up on the television? Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 15:28
  • If you were watching a channel that someone changed against your will, you could use either of your two suggestions or mine. It would be a good idea to add "please** or Would you mind changing it back/putting it back on Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 17:14
  • 1
    @It'saboutEnglish We don't say dialed up for television.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 14:31
  • AmE almost never uses put on. The common phrase is turn on. Turn on the television and then turn on CBS.
    – EllieK
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 15:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .