The word "listen" is used when a person pays attention to sound. This word is different from the verb "hear." A person who hears something, could be expecting the sound or not. A person who listens is actively receiving and thinking about the sound.

simplepastpast participle
  • Do you like to listen to the radio?
  • What kind of music do you like to listen to? (The preposition "to" often appears after "listen.")
  • Bill has been listening to a lot of classical music lately.
  • Some students don’t listen when the teacher is talking.
  • It’s important to listen.
  • Were you listening to me?
  • I don’t think you were listening.
  • Why don’t you listen?
  • Vanessa believes she isn’t being listened to by her supervisor.
  • Politicians listen to voters before an election.
  • Voters are listened to by politicians before there’s an election. (passive voice)
  • Are you listening?
  • You weren’t even listening. (This sentence is in the past continuous tense.)
  • Todd wasn’t listening when the teacher called his name.
  • Listen up! I need your attention. ("Listen up" is kind of an expression.)

student listening Students who learn to listen to the language that they are studying achieve more success than students who don’t learn to listen.

The word "listening" is a common gerund.

  • I enjoy listening to music.
  • Listening to people speak English is a good thing to do if you want to learn the language.
  • Listening to the reverend’s sermon inspired parishioners to be kinder and more tolerant of others.

A person who listens is called a "listener."

  • Jennifer is a good listener. She always pays attention to her teachers.
  • Listeners of the radio program heard a great performance by a talented musician.
  • The announcer surprised his listeners with some very sad news.

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January 15, 2016