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18 / 05 / 2004

LISTEN vs. HEAR: meaning and examples

Good morning,

Today we look at two more words, this time verbs, that can cause confusion in English: hear and listen. They can be translated into Spanish/Catalan as oír/sentir and escuchar/escoltar, respectively.

So what are the differences between these verbs?

Listen means: to pay attention to a sound or make an effort to hear a sound or understand what someone tells you.

Example 1:
listen to the radio every morning on my way to work.

Example 2:
My husband never listens to what I have to say!

Hear means: to realise that something or somebody is making a sound. In this case there is not necessarily an effort made to detect the sound, as with listen.

Example 3:
She became very frightened when she heard noises outside the door.

Example 4:
I heard rumours that the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is going to quit.

If you have any questions about the difference between these two verbs, please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

Enjoy the rest of your day!