Listen v hear
I am surprised at how often I hear mistakes with "listen".
Or is it listen to mistakes with "hear"? :-)
What's the difference?
Listening is an intentional activity - you make an effort / pay attention. (It is often followed by to)
- What kind of music do you listen to?
- Don't listen to her. She doesn't know what she's talking about.
- Listen, I think you need a holiday. It'll do you good.
- Sorry - I wasn't listening. My mind is elsewhere.
- He heard a strange noise so he went outside to see what it was.
- Can you turn it up? I can't hear what they are saying.
- My grandad can't hear very well.
- Listen! Did you hear that?
- No. I can't hear anything.
- Listen! There's that noise again. What is it?
There are a few cases where listen and hear are interchangeable.
- I heard a really interesting programme on the radio the other day.
- We heard them live in concert.
Pronunciation: /ˈlɪs.ən/ /ˈlɪs.ənz/ /ˈlɪs.ənd/ /hɪər/ /hɪərz/ /hɜːd/
Idiom: You can say someone is as deaf as a post if they don't hear very well.
Listen to 6 minute English about ear worms.