Hear vs. Listen

Now, let's focus on the little details of these two confusing verbs in the English language. What does mean when we hear and when we listen?

"Hear" vs. "Listen" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both verbs refer to recognizing a sound with our ears. However, we use 'hear' when we perceive different sounds from our surroundings. 'Listen' is when someone pays attention to a particular sound. In other words, it is a conscious action.


Generally speaking, we 'hear' everything. It is nothing we pay attention to. It does not happen consciously. Look at the examples below:

I heard you the first time so there's no need for you to repeat yourself.

A father hears what his children say, but a dad listens to them wholeheartedly.

'Listen', basically is an action that happens consciously. When someone listens to someone/something, they are paying attention to them in order to understand their emotions. Look at the examples below:

Justen listen to what she's trying to tell you for God's sake.

If you ever need help, just listen to yourself.


In both, we use our ears to comprehend the data. Look below:

I'm sorry but I wanna listen to music right now.

I feel like she hears me, but she doesn't want to listen to me.

Are They Interchangeable?

Most people use them interchangeably. Compare:

✓ Do you even hear me?

✓ Do you even listen to me?


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