Today I was listening to a song while driving. If I said instead that I heard a song while driving, I think it would be understood a different way.
I was listening to a song = something I was doing intentionally. I heard a song = something I did more or less by accident.

There's no real point in bringing this up, but it might be of interest to ESL students here.
And it would be of interest to me if English-speaking AUEers outside the US disagree with me on this.
Maria Conlon
1 2
Maria Conlon filted:
Today I was listening to a song while driving. If I said instead that I heard a song while driving, ... song = something I was doing intentionally. I heard a song = something I did more or less by accident.

Was it "The Sounds Of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel?...the bit about "people talking without speaking/people hearing without listening" has been used almost since the beginning to accompany film of deaf people signing...I've always felt that the phrases would describe that process better if the verbs in each line were permuted..r
Today I was listening to a song while driving. If I said instead that I heard a song while driving, ... it would be of interest to me if English-speaking AUEers outside the US disagree with me on this. Maria Conlon

Another observation of the difference between the two verbs:

"I'm listening" means that I'm paying attention to what you are saying, although it says nothing about whether or not I understand you.

"I hear you" or "I hear what you're saying" is usually another way of expressing "I understand what you're saying."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Today I was listening to a song while driving. If I said instead that I heard a song while driving, ... here. And it would be of interest to me if English-speaking AUEers outside the US disagree with me on this.

Slightly far-fetched, but a similar distinction was made in a photography class I once took. We
were talking about how a good photographer
can "see" a good picture before it is taken
versus merely "looking" at a potential scene.
This is a skill I much admire in some photographers who I have worked with - they "see" rather than "look". The results they come up with in terms of composition, texture, and so forth, make me realize I never "saw" what they did, although I looked at the overall scene quite carefully while we were out on the same shoot.
Jitze
Today I was listening to a song while driving. If I said instead that I heard a song while driving, ... here. And it would be of interest to me if English-speaking AUEers outside the US disagree with me on this.

I agree with you, from the UK. I make the same distinction between "watched" and "saw" for TV programmes, although my old granny (born
1892) used to say she was going to "look at the television" where Iwould have used "watch".

David
I say what it occurs to me to say.
==
The address is valid today, but I change it periodically.
Today I was listening to a song while driving. If ... English-speaking AUEers outside the US disagree with me on this.

I agree with you, from the UK. I make the same distinction between "watched" and "saw" for TV programmes, although my old granny (born 1892) used to say she was going to "look at the television" where I would have used "watch".

I agree with David on both points.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
While it was 18/9/03 9:01 am throughout the UK, Raymond S. Wise sprinkled little black dots on a white screen, and they fell thus:
Another observation of the difference between the two verbs: "I'm listening" means that I'm paying attention to what you are ... "I hear you" or "I hear what you're saying" is usually another way of expressing "I understand what you're saying."

Where do you get that idea from? Since when has making out the sound of a word automatically constituted knowing its meaning?

Stewart.

My e-mail is valid but not my primary mailbox. Please keep replies on on the 'group where everyone may benefit.
While it was 18/9/03 9:01 am throughout the UK, Raymond S. Wise sprinkled little black dots on a white screen, and they fell thus:

Another observation of the difference between the two verbs: "I'm ... usually another way of expressing "I understand what you're saying."

Where do you get that idea from? Since when has making out the sound of a word automatically constituted knowing its meaning?

I got the idea from being a native speaker of American English.

"I hear you" can also mean simply "I am receiving noises that originated from you," but that usage is relatively rare compared to the other meaning which I discuss above. I used the words "is usually another way of expressing..." instead of "invariably means..." because the "receiving noises" sense was indeed a possibility.
Am I correct in supposing that a trans-Pondian difference is involved here?

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
While it was 18/9/03 9:01 am throughout the UK, Raymond S. Wise sprinkled little black dots on a white screen, and they fell thus:

Another observation of the difference between the two verbs: "I'm ... usually another way of expressing "I understand what you're saying."

Where do you get that idea from? Since when has making out the sound of a word automatically constituted knowing its meaning?

Raymond is right - in this sense, "I hear you" has nothing to do with the sound of the words, but is an idiom meaning "I understand your position". It's used to accept somebody's point of view without specifically agreeing with it. I used it earlier today.

http://tinyurl.com/nt7c

David
I say what it occurs to me to say.
==
The address is valid today, but I change it periodically.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more