Hear versus Listen

person Team HelloEnglishfolder_openVocabularyaccess_time October 26, 2016

Hear versus Listen

The important difference between listen and hear is that listening is deliberate, and hearing is not. Let us see the difference between hear versus listen.


It means that sounds come into your ears whether you want it or not, while listen means that you consciously pay attention to what you hear.

  • I’m listening, but I can’t hear anything.

To hear is to physically experience the sense of sound. As long as one’s ear and brain are capable of processing sound waves, one can hear.

  • The line is very bad. I can’t hear you.

To listen is to deliberately apply the ability to hear. One who listens is thinking about what is heard, what it means, how to respond, and whether to continue to listen / pay attention.

  • He listens to the news everyday.
  • He cannot hear clearly due to old age.

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