To hear is to receive information or sound through one’s ears.

simplepastpast participle
  • Can you hear that? It sounds like there’s a problem with my car.
  • I can’t hear you. Can you speak up?
  • It’s hard to hear what’s going on from so far away. We’ll have to get closer in order to listen.
  • Karl can’t hear very well. He’s losing his hearing. (hearing: your ability to hear)
  • I’m sick of hearing that dog bark next door. (In this sentence, "hearing" is a gerund.)

hear"What? I can’t hear you."

This verb is often used when information is passed from one person to another, whether the information is in print or in the form of sound.

  • I hear you’re moving to New York
  • Did you hear about Tom and Jennifer’s divorce?
  • What have you heard about our new supervisor?
  • Everyone has heard about the accident.
  • I’m sorry to hear about your mother. She was a nice woman. (This is what a person might say to a grieving family member.)

There’s a difference between the words "hear" and "listen." The word "iisten" is more active and is used when a person is really concentrating on the sound. The word "hear" can be used for both active and passive situations in which sound enters the ear.

  • Can you hear that? No? Listen.
  • Listen to the teacher when she speaks.
  • I didn’t hear the storm last night. I was sound asleep.

The word "hearing" is a noun:

  • My grandmother is losing her hearing. (She’s losing her ability to hear.)
  • There will be a hearing later today regarding the issue of water conservation. (hearing: a formal gathering of government officials who listen to facts and make decisions based on what they hear.)

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April 8, 2015