Hear or Listen?
The Quick AnswerWhat is the difference between hear and listen?
To hear means to experience sound. For example:
- I hear the dogs bark every morning.
- Listen to the wind.
Hear or Listen?The verbs to hear and to listen have similar meanings, but there is a subtle difference between them.
HearThe verb to hear means to experience sound. In other words, it means to perceive sound through the ears. For example:
- I heard a noise outside.
- My dog can't hear very well.
ListenThe verb to listen means to deliberately apply the ability to hear. In other words, it means to pay attention to a sound. To listen is usually followed by to or for. For example:
- Listen to the drum solo.
- The dog listens for the car arriving.
- Do you like to listen to classical music?
Interactive ExerciseHere are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.
See Alsoadverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are nouns? List of easily confused words