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Common Mistakes and Confusing Words in English

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hear vs listen

To hear is a verb that means to receive or become aware of a sound using your ears, so you don't have to make an effort in order to just hear something.

For example:-

She heard a noise outside.

To listen is a verb that means to give attention to someone or something in order to hear them, so you make an effort in order to hear something properly.

For example:-

She listened to the noise and realised it was only a cat.

Note! In some circumstances we use hear when we listen to someone or something attentively or officially.

For example:-

I heard a really interesting speech on the radio this morning.
These people need to be heard.