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Difference Between Listen and Hear

The difference between listen and hear

What is the difference between Listen and Hear? This question has been baffling many people for some time. So, we wrote this lesson.


How to differentiate between "listen" and "hear"


The similarity between "hear" and "listen" are verbs that are related to sounds. So the meaning of both words is related but different. It is important not to confuse meaning and usage.


1. How to use "hear"?

You use "hear" for sounds you hear in your ears, without necessarily trying to hear them. Examples:

  • I can hear music in Sara's room.
  • He did not hear very well.

2. How to use "listen (to)"?

You use "listen (to)" to pay attention to hearing others or things, i.e. listening to describe paying attention to the sounds that occur, examples:

  • Sam often listens to music when he's at home.
  • Evidently he was not listening.


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