It's on at seven o'clock.

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  • Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In the right context, it would be fine. If "it" refers to a television show starting at 7:00, for example, this is a sentence you'd hear all the time. Or "it's on" can confirm that something will in fact happen. "Is there still going to be a meeting tonight? Yes, it's on, at 7:00."

    But perhaps it would be wrong in other contexts.
     

    Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    yes, we are talking about TV.
    Well, then the sentence as originally stated is idiomatic American English. I believe the "on" is short for "on the air", but after all these decades of broadcasting, the "the air" part is virtually never said. You would ordinarily skip the "o'clock", too. "When does the ball game start? It's on at 7."
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Well, then the sentence as originally stated is idiomatic American English. I believe the "on" is short for "on the air", but after all these decades of broadcasting, the "the air" part is virtually never said. You would ordinarily skip the "o'clock", too. "When does the ball game start? It's on at 7."
    I agree. "On the air" would sound very much like mid-20th century speech. :) "It's on at (some time)" is the primary way I hear people speak about a TV show. If it's a game, you might also hear, "it starts at (some time)", but "it's on" really tells you more. There are often pre-game discussions and coverage of a game starting at 4 p.m. may start an hour or two earlier than the actual start of the game.

    As an added note, "What time is it on?" is the most common question to find the time of a program. If someone is describing a new series that I haven't seen and I'm interested in it, I'd say, "That sounds great! What time is it on? I'd like to catch it tonight."
     

    heidita

    Banned
    Germany (German, English, Spanish)
    Such a shame. My poor student listened carefully when I told her "to be on" went together, sort of, and she translated correctly: the film is on at seven. It's a real shame. She is the same 10-year-old whose teacher some time ago marked wrong: farther.

    Thanks for the fast answers. Can't we do something about stupidity??
     

    Old Novice

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    What if it were about a, say, meeting? For example:
    - Is the meeting still on?
    - It's on at seven (o'clock).
    Would it be correct then as well?
    Yes, that works. Without the comma in my earlier example ("it's on, at 7"), the focus is more on the time than on the fact that it is still on. With the comma, the focus is on the fact that the meeting will take place.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Such a shame. My poor student listened carefully when I told her "to be on" went together, sort of, and she translated correctly: the film is on at seven. It's a real shame. She is the same 10-year-old whose teacher some time ago marked wrong: farther.

    Thanks for the fast answers. Can't we do something about stupidity??
    No. :(

    The number of ignorant people always outnumber those who are informed. The ignorant seem especially attracted to positions of authority—and seem quite good at getting those positions.

    Good luck!

    Gaer
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hmm... I think it all depends upon what was said beforehand.

    Suppose someone asks, "What time is 'University Challenge' [a television programme] this evening?" Assuming it begins at seven o' clock, my view on the possible answers is:

    "Seven o' clock" :tick:
    " It comes on at seven o' clock" :tick:
    "It's on at seven o' clock" :cross: (because this implies that it starts before seven o' clock and will be under way at that time.)
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Hmm... I think it all depends upon what was said beforehand.

    Suppose someone asks, "What time is 'University Challenge' [a television programme] this evening?" Assuming it begins at seven o' clock, my view on the possible answers is:

    "Seven o' clock" :tick:
    " It comes on at seven o' clock" :tick:
    "It's on at seven o' clock" :cross: (because this implies that it starts before seven o' clock and will be under way at that time.)
    This seems totally natural to me:

    --Do you know when "24" is on? I know it's on tonight and I want to record it.
    --It's on at seven o' clock—on channel seven, I think.
     
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