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Hear vs listen

Hear means to perceive a sound with your ears. Hear is a verb, related words are hears, heard, hearing. Hear is derived from the Old English word heran. To hear something does not necessarily mean that any attention is given to the thing heard, hearing is a passive action. Hear is one of the top one thousand most frequently used words in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Listen means to take notice of a sound or what is being said. Listen is a verb, related words are listens, listened, listening. Listen is derived from the Old English word hlysnan. To listen means that one is paying attention to the thing heard, listening is an active action. Listen is also one of the one thousand most frequently used words in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.


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Examples

MANCHESTER UNITED’S players were so furious with their first-half performance against Liverpool yesterday their opponents could hear them arguing in the dressing room. (The Daily Express)

Then came the mass exodus: Dozens of people fleeing the upper-level seats behind Trump in search of a spot where they could hear him. (The Washington Post)

Careful, He Might Hear You, the 1983 adaptation of Australian-American author Sumner Locke Elliott’s novel (which won the Miles Franklin award) is a superb example of bold and inventive cinematography deeply tuned to themes and subtext. (The Guardian)

Flood envoy – Government will listen to Yorkshire pleas for help (The Halifax Courier)

“Even smart people, if they don’t listen to their body, might not bounce back” as quickly from adversity, he said, as someone who is more attuned to his or her physiology. (The New York Times)

I am voting for Ted because he will truly listen to the people of our city when they speak; he won’t just pretend to listen and then do whatever he feels regardless of what was actually said. (The Modesto Bee)

 

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