I stumbled across this sentence, which is used as an example, while looking through Oxford Guide to English Grammar:
If you haven't got television, you can't watch it.
Assuming the sentence is correct, I looked up television in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary which gave me 3 meanings of the word:
- A piece of electrical equipment with a screen on which you can watch programmes with moving pictures and sounds.
- The programmes broadcast on television.
- The system, the process or business of broadcasting television programmes.
I thought in the conditional clause television referred to the first meaning, but I then noticed there was no a before television. Also, in the latter clause, it seemed to refer to television with the uncountable second meaning (as in watch TV). This caused me confusion.
I tried changing the sentence into the following:
If you haven't got a television, you can't watch it.
which turned out to be weird since nobody 'watches a TV'.
So which meaning is correct? Was the sentence wrong in the first place? Did I misunderstand something here?