my American friend podcast episode 42: What’s the difference between the verbs TO HEAR and TO LISTEN ?
Marta – to HEAR vs to LISTEN. We’re dealing with PERCEPTION VS INTENTION. (sound of phone ringing)…. Uh… Have you heard that sound, Cindy? Is that your phone ringing?
Cindy – Yes, it is. Sorry, Marta, I need to take this call.
M – No problem.
C – Hello? Hello? Honey, can you hear me? Honey? I’m afraid it’s a very bad line, I can hardly hear your voice, can you repeat that? Wait a second… ok, now I can hear you very well. Uh uh… you took the car to the garage… is it ok now? Ok. Go ahead, I’m listening. I’m all ears. Oh, I see, you need my credit card for the bill… mmmm… how much is it? (gasping)… Honey? I’m afraid I can’t hear you anymore….hello? (hanging up).
M – How come that you couldn’t hear the voice exactly when they told you the total amount you’re supposed to pay?
C – Cell phones! ☺ Com’on, let’s move on with this episode. Here’s a good example to understand the difference between to hear and to listen: I was listening to my favorite song at full volume when I heard my neighbors knocking on the door. Marta, can you comment?
M – well, you’d better use earphones. ☺ Your neighbors shouldn’t complain, though, you have good taste in music, I’m sure it was a great song.
C – It was! Anyway, about to listen vs to hear?
M – You were listening to your favorite song, intentionally, actively, when you heard your neighbors knocking, you heard a sound unintentionally, you just heard it, without wanting to.
C – Exactly. Another example: imagine there’s a football game on TV, let’s say….Miami Dolphins VS San Francisco 49ers.
M – Wow, my husband would be excited about that!
C – Now try and tell him something important while he’s watching his favorite football team playing.
M – Hey, darling, I have great news! (game commentary on the TV….) Babe… did you hear what I’ve just said? I have great news!!
F – …what? Oh, sorry, Marta, I wasn’t listening.
M – are you listening now?
F – Sure, baby, I’m all ears. (TV : touch down Miami…) touch down!! Touch down Miami !!
C – Yeah, that’s just the way it goes! “Did you hear what I said? I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.” It’s not your fault, Marta, it’s the power of American football.
M – It’s ok. Now how about using a few songs?
C – Sure, let’s start with Adele “I heard that you settled down….”
M – In this sentence “I heard” means: I got to know, I found out, I was told that…
C – For example: “Have you heard that Jane got married last month?” Or “I heard that you got promoted, congratulations!”
M – ok, here’s another song: “I heard it through the grapevine”
C – “I heard it through the grapevine”, it means: I heard a rumor, people are talking about it, so that’s how I got to know about it.
M – And now Beyoncé : “Listen!!”
C – Beyoncé must be angry with someone there. If you say: Listen to me! you’re demanding attention. (phone ringing) hang on just a minute Marta, oh, it’s the mechanic calling, the car must be finished. Just a moment, I need to take this call.
…Hello? Yes…how much? Are you f***ing kidding me? How much? That’s a $100 job and you want how much? No, you LISTEN to me! I’ll be there in one hour and we’ll talk about it when I get there.
M – Cindy, you scare me ☺
C – Did you hear that?
M – Yes, I was listening!
C – Well, I’m gonna give the garage something to listen to when we’re done here.
M – And actually, we’re done here. Ok, everybody, we hope we helped you understand the difference between to HEAR and to LISTEN, perception vs intention.
C – Now LISTEN UP, I’m about to tell you our website address: www.myamericanfriendblog.com
We’ve uploaded more than 40 episodes so far…
M – And if you haven’t heard our previous episodes, HAVE A LISTEN!
C – You can hear us on youtube, podomatic and iTunes. We’re also on Twitter and be sure to like us on Facebook.
M- Bye bye!
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