Listen and hear

Listening is a verb that refers to paying attention to what we grasp through our ears. Hearing is a verb that refers to the ability we have to perceive sounds.

Hearing is surviving sounds through the ears. It does not imply understanding what we are hearing. Listening is perceiving sounds and understanding them. To listen we must concentrate, think, and reason.
Hearing is involuntary. Listening is a completely intentional act.
Listening involves physical and mental effort. Hearing does not involve any effort, as we do it unconsciously.


It is a verb that is used to define the action of paying attention to what our auditory sense captures. The term comes from the Latin culture, which indicates people who use their hearing abilities to hear what has been said.

Listening is linked to hearing, psychology, and physiology. Listening implies reasoning and understanding what we are hearing. For example, a person may talk to you, but if you don’t pay attention, you will not understand what he is saying and therefore, you will not be listening.


It is a verb that refers to the sensory faculty that we have to capture or perceive a sound. It is usually related to the verb listen, but they are different and are only used as synonyms in colloquial language.

Difference between Hear and Listen

To hear we need the sense of hearing, which depends on physiological and psychological processes that allow us to hear and capture sounds. To hear the sound waves they must reach the ears where bones, nerves, membranes, and cells convert them into nerve impulses that the brain can pick up and interpret.

To hear we need our inner, middle, and outer ears to function properly. The sound waves enter the outer ear, reach the middle ear and cause vibrations in the eardrum, which transmits them to the chain of ossicles and is converted into nerve impulses, which are identified as sounds in the brain.

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