Difference Between Listen and Hear



You are listening to English Made Simple Podcast, Numero 20! What is the difference between Listen and Hear? Listen to this episode and find out! Got a question? Send me a message! Enjoy :)


Hey guys, you are listening to English Made Simple. This is episode 20, Numero 20. Hola amigos, qué pasa! How are you guys? I hope you are well. My name is Milena. Thank you for joining me. I am also doing well as well haha Welcome to episode 20. I’m curious, do you remember any examples from the last show. We learnt about phrasal verb using the word ‘look’ and I shared some examples with you in episode 19 and I am going to share more examples in my Facebook group so I recommend you join Facebook group called English Made Simple. I will put the link in the description so you are welcome to join. If you are listening to this show for the first time, Welcome! Hello!

And if you are new to this show; please go back to episode 18 and 19 where I am explaining the difference between ‘look’, ‘see’ and ‘watch’ and I bet you will learn something new. It seems as though that these type of episodes are popular. People are curious to know about phrasal verbs. They are keen to learn new phrasal verbs because that’s how native speakers speak. Okay guys? There will be more examples to come with phrasal verbs. However, in this episode, I will like to talk about two verbs, ‘listen’ and ‘hear’ because most of my students get confused; when to use listen and when to use hear. So I hope this episode helps you understand the difference between ‘listen’ and ‘hear’. So, let’s begin.

‘Listen’ and ‘hear’ are verbs that we used to talk about our sense of hearing using our ears (oidos). But they have important differences in meaning. They are different ok guys, they are difference, listen and hear, escuchar y oir. Past tense of listen is ‘listened’ and past tense of hear is ‘heard’. The verb ‘listen’ is a regular verb and ‘hear ‘is irregular. Let’s start with a simple one. Let’s start with ‘hear’. When we hear something, it is by accident, it is by chance. This means we are not actively paying attention. We don’t pay attention to what is happening; we just hear some noises, ruidos. Some sounds, sonidos. We hear something around us. Okay example! Sometimes I can hear my neighbours talked really loud when I am at home trying to sleep. Sometimes I can hear my neighbours, vecinos, neighbours. They talk really loud and you know; I can’t sleep. They wake me up. So we can hear some noises. I don’t really listen to what they have to say, I just hear them talk.

Another example I guess when we use the word to hear a real life example. My one! When I talk on Skype with somebody and there is a bad signal; we usually say things/words like, Can you hear me okay? Can you hear me okay? So ‘Can you hear my voice?’ not ‘Can you listen to me? ‘.Can you listen to me? ‘has a different meaning. So if there is a bad signal and the other person cannot hear you well, you say can you hear me okay. So that’s the one I use often. There is usually bad signal with Skype. Anyway, I should use another program for sure.

Alright, and another example I can give you is let’s say you are with native speakers. You are socializing with native speakers and in this example, we are going to use the verb hear the same way as to notice. So let’s say you are talking with native speakers. You will hear native speakers use a lot of slang like ‘wanna’ or ‘gonna’. They use a lot of slang. You will hear them use it. I have covered what slang is in episode 17 so you are welcome to listen to that episode. So that is basically the word ‘hear’. Done! Simple! We hear some noises around us. Very Simple.

Now, ‘Listen’. Listen to this. Okay the word listen. First of all, the letter ‘T’ is silent. We don’t’ say LisTen, we say Listen. ‘T’ is silent. English language is funny like that. Tries to trick you and confuse you but don’t worry about it, this is one of the most common word you will have to use so you will remember how to spell it. It is all about practicing. So listen. The word listen. ‘Listen’ is a verb that means to give your attention. Full attention to a sound. So when we listen, we are actively concentrating on the sound. You can hear my voice now. You can hear my voice when I speak but when you really try to listen, you will understand what I am talking about. So listen is often used together with the proposition ‘to’. You are listening to English Made Simple. So listen is often use with the proposition to. You are listening to the radio. You are listening to Justin Bieber’s songs. I don’t know. You are listening to Episode 20 of English Made Simple. You are listening to me. You are listening to me right now. I will give you some more example of the word listen. My friend likes to listen to the radio while she is at work. She likes to turn on the radio and pay attention to the music while she works. She just likes to listen to the music on the radio.

My husband never listens to me when I talk about my problems. He ignores me basically. My husband, mi marido. He never listens to me when I talk about my problem. I think he does this on purpose. Really! Going to talk to him about that. Next example! Let’s say you meet a new friend. You meet a new friend. Usually when you meet a friend, you say, what kind of movies do you like? You can also ask your friend, what kind of music do you listen to? What this means basically is; what type of music do you like. What kind of music do you listen to? That’s one way to ask what kind of music do you like. When we listen, we try to hear. Think about that one. When we listen, we try to hear. We pay attention and try to understand every sound. So that is basically listening. So I think this kind of explains what listen means or when you can use it. Now if we are at a concert or if we have been to a concert, we don’t actually say I am listening to, let’s say we are at Foo Fighters’ concert. I like Foo Fighters. Or let’s say Justin Bieber. Most of you like Justin Bieber. Let’s say you are at Justin Bieber’s concert. You are talking to your friend. You don’t say ‘I listened to Justin Bieber the other day, last weekend’. I went to Justin Bieber’ concert and listened to Justin Bieber. We don’t say that. We actually need to use ‘heard’ in that case. I heard Justin Bieber sing the song ‘Sorry’ at the concert. Only in that case, in case of public performances, we would use the verb ‘ hear’ not ‘listen’ but ‘listen’ we us for non-public performances. I guess generally speaking… but that is the exception there with the verb ‘hear’.

So, that’s it. I clarify the difference between ‘listen’ and ‘hear’. So just before we finish, guess what? Listen can also be a noun. Yup! Yes indeed! It can be a noun. Have you heard the latest song by Enrique Iglesias? It is definitely worth a listen. See what I did there. I asked you have you heard the latest song by Enrique Iglesias. It is definitely worth a listen. So when I put the article ‘a’ listen. That means this is a noun.

Excellent! Alright guys. I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you found it helpful. I hope you found this valuable. It would be cool if you could share this with your friends and help them out. If you found this helpful, you can share it with your friends. Don’t forget. All transcriptions are available on my website, Englishmadesimple.net. If you have any questions in regards to the transcription or any topics on this podcast, please let me know in the Facebook group, English Made Simple. This podcast is for you to learn and I am here to help you learn. So let’s do this. Alright, until next time Hasta la Proxima! Ciao. Adios!

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