Hear, Hear Vs Here, Here

Are you preparing for a debate with someone? Train yourself to exclaim, “hear, hear” when you agree with the speaker… Or should it be “here, here”? It’s one of the most often confused phrases of this time and can cause a heated debate amongst writers. 

Continue reading to learn the difference between “here, here” and “hear, hear.” This guide will also show you the origin of the phrases while providing relevant examples.

It can be super easy to get this wrong because they sound exactly the same. But the correct use of it in a sentence is “hear, hear” when writing narrative or dialogue.

Hear, Hear

Hear, hear (usually with a comma and set apart as a self-contained sentence) is the conventional spelling of the colloquial exclamation used to express approval for a speaker or sentiment. It’s essentially short for hear him, hear him or hear this, hear this, where these phrases are a sort of cheer.

Here, Here

Here, here is widely regarded as a misspelling, although it is a common one, and there are ways to logically justify its use. But for what it’s worth, hear, hear is the original form (the Oxford English Dictionary cites examples going back to the 17th century) and is the one listed in dictionaries. English reference books mention here, here only to note that it’s wrong.

What Does “Hear! Hear!” Mean? Origin and Examples in Writing

With words like roommate vs room mate, many get confused between “hear, hear” and “here, here” because they sound the same. But “hear, hear” is the correct expression that means an agreement with someone’s point. It’s short for “hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!”

Instead of an exclamation point, the expression typically uses a comma to separate the self-contained sentence, “hear, hear.” or “hear, hear!” It’s a well-established phrase often used in the legislative process, scriptwriting, historical fiction, and more.  Examples:

“Only that it was awesome,” she said, “and that the Bronco Bowl was the only concert venue that ever mattered.” Hear, hear. [Dallas Observer]

“I think we need to go back to old-fashioned basics and hard work in the nets and not try and re-invent the wheel.” Hear, hear! [Daily Telegraph]

“Hear, Hear” in the Seventeenth Century

This colloquial saying dates back to the 17th century, which the UK Parliament used to direct attention to anyone speaking. It was also short for “hear him, hear him!” and was later shortened to “hear, hear!”

“Hear him, hear him” became popular since debates were a massive part of the Parliament. It’s also worth noting that no ones used “hear her, hear her” in history. That’s because the first female Parliament member was only elected in the 20th century.

“Hear, Hear” in the King James Bible

The King James Bible also used the verb “hear” in the same context. In Bible stories, it indicated a command for people to listen. 

Examples:

“Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed…” [Genesis 37:6].

“Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob.” [Genesis 49:2].

“Hear, Hear” at Present

From as far back as the eighteenth century, the phrase has been used in many forms. “Hear ye, hear ye!” became “hear him, hear him!” and then eventually morphed into “Hear, hear!”. 

Saying “hear, hear” in the twentieth century and modern times means you agree with what someone says. It’s like saying “yeah” or “that’s so true!” The use of expression depends on the formality of the situation, as what the UK parliament originally meant.

You’ll often hear it in school debates, government assemblies, and corporate meetings. You might also encounter it in new movies and shows with themes of history, royalty, or aristocracy.

“Hear, hear” is also an appropriate expression to draw attention. Imagine being in a large room where people are chatting with each other, but you want to make a special announcement. 

Use “hear, hear” to get everyone to notice you. Once everyone’s eyes are on you, proceed with your good news.

Some also use the phrase to cheer. You’ll hear people saying “hear, hear” at the end of a toast instead of clapping, especially in gatherings that prohibit the act. 

“Here, Here” or “Hear, Hear”: What’s the Difference?

You already know that “hear, hear” is a famous saying that expresses agreement with someone’s sentiments. But some people still confuse it with “here, here” because the two are homophones.

Homophones are words with the same pronunciations yet distinguishable spellings, definitions, or origins. Note that “hear” is a verb while “here” is an adjective. Therefore, it makes sense to use “hear, hear” to command, agree, or cheer since they are actions.

“Here, here” is still common in the English language. It’s more commonly used at the moment. But it could be for a different circumstance or context. When someone’s looking for their keys, and you found them, you can say, “here, here!”

here here or hear hear English

In the End

“Hear, hear” is the correct way to say you agree with someone. Now you can settle any lively debates you might have with anyone who says otherwise. The phrase holds a heavy cultural significance because of the long history of parliamentarism.

No one will notice the issue if you accidentally shout, “here, here!” when you are in favor of someone’s sentiment. But in writing, don’t forget to use the expression “hear, hear.”