LISTEN or HEAR?


Although they have similar meanings, there are significant differences that you need to know!

Listen / Hear

We ‘listen’ to something when we focus on it and pay attention to it.
We ‘hear’ something that comes into our ears. It is not necessarily deliberate or intentional.
Commonly confused words for IELTS - LISTEN or HEAR?For example:

  • I was trying to watch television but all I could hear was my neighbour playing his guitar.
  • I went outside so I could listen to my neighbour play his guitar

Test yourself! Select the correct answer from the list for each gap

  1. When you ask someone for directions, it is important towhat they are saying.
  2. Ia noise outside – perhaps you should go and take a look?
  3. I was trying toto the teacher’s instructions, but she has a very quiet voice and I couldn’ther.
  4. to that! It sounds like John’s car!
  5. Where I work, we canthe radio if we want to.
  6. I think there’s a storm coming – I justsome thunder.
  7. I was talking to friend who is overseas, but she couldn’tme because the phone line wasn’t clear.
  8. The problem with some people is they nevergood advice!
Click here to see the answers
1. When you ask someone for directions, it is important to LISTEN TO what they are saying.
2. I HEARD a noise outside – perhaps you should go and take a look?
3. I was trying to LISTEN TO the teacher’s instructions, but she has a very quiet voice and I couldn’t HEAR her.
4. LISTEN TO that! It sounds like John’s car!
5. Where I work, we can LISTEN TO the radio if we want to.
6. I think there’s a storm coming – I just HEARD some thunder.
7. I was talking to friend who is overseas, but she couldn’t HEAR me because the phone line wasn’t clear.
8. The problem with some people is they never LISTEN TO good advice!

 

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