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  • 入れる{いれる} can mean to turn on (a switch, etc.)
  • 点ける{つける} can mean to turn on; to switch on; to light up

I do not see the difference. When would I use which?


「入れる{いれる}」と「点ける{つける}」の違{ちが}いは何ですか。

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When you are talking about turn on light, you should say つける.

[電気]{でんき}をつける。

[電気]{でんき} is the common way to say electricity lighting, by the way.

つける also can apply to any kind of stuffs.

エアコンをつける。 (Turn on the air conditioner.)
テレビをつける。 (Turn on the TV.)
パソコンをつける。 (Turn on the PC.)
[電源]{でんげん}をつける。 (Turn on the power.)

入{い}れる is sometimes interchangeable with つける, but it only works with some specific objects. The following sentences are good examples of 入{い}れる.

エアコンを入{い}れる。
[電源]{でんげん}を入{い}れる。

You could say テレビを入{い}れる, but it is not common. You should say テレビをつける which is much more common. The same goes for パソコン.

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入れる literally means "to put (into)." Thus 電源を入れる = to turn on the power.

つける is used for lighting. Thus 照明を点ける = to turn on the light.

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  • What about 火を点ける and 火を入れる? – Earthliŋ Jun 19 '15 at 17:20
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    This answer doesn't explain why 電気をつける is valid either. – Darius Jahandarie Jun 19 '15 at 17:27
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    Isn't 電気 in that sense just a form of synecdoche (or metonymy whichever) to refer to lights? – ssb Jun 19 '15 at 18:02
  • @Earthing: 火を点ける = ignite. 火を入れる = set on fire (used for furnaces and heaters.) – eltonjohn Jun 19 '15 at 18:04
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    I don't think つける is only used for lighting. At least you can say エアコンをつける(turn on the air conditioner.) – Takashi Jun 20 '15 at 0:18

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