Monday, January 24, 2011

Common Error: Confusing "Listen" and "Hear"

We recently talked about see, look, and watch, so today let's move from our eyes to our ears and focus on another common error that language learners make:

Common Error: Confusing "listen" and "hear"
DON’T say this:I'm sorry, but I wasn't hearing to you.
Hear! I think I listen a car coming!
Did you listen that noise just now?
WHY?Much like the difference between "watch," "see," and "look," the difference between "listen" and "hear" has a lot to do with intention:

-You naturally hear things; "to hear" is to perceive sounds that reach your ears by using your sense of hearing. You normally don't plan to hear: it's spontaneous.

-To hear of/about something means to have knowledge related to that thing.

-If you listen, you carefully or continuously hear something. You have to pay attention to listen to something. If you have an object that follows the word "listen," be sure to add the word "to."

-Additionally, "listen" can be used as an interjection, but "hear" generally can't.
INSTEAD, SAY THIS:-"Listen to this music. It'll change your life."
-"Sorry, but I didn't hear what you said. I wasn't listening."
-"Have you heard about Pete? He got fired for always coming to work late!"

That's it for today. If you have any questions or comments, please tell me!
Thanks for reading!


  1. idk this!!!

  2. Does the 'd' here stand for 'don't' or 'didn't'? I hope it's 'didn't'! :)

    Thanks for checking out the site Josue!


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