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Escuchar vs Oir

EdwinC1Kwiziq community member

Escuchar vs Oir

In English, "to hear" is a passive act to the person.  It happens to them, whether they wanted it to or not.   "To listen" is an active effort by the person. "If one listens well, he will hear it."  The Spanish dictionary says that "oir" is to hear.  However, "escuchar" can mean "to listen" or "to hear".  Is that correct?

"La escuché cantando" could mean "I listened to her singing" or "I heard her singing".  ??

Is that right?

Thanks

Asked 9 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Edwin

Yes, there is the same distinction in Spanish, oír is an involuntary act as in "I suddenly heard a noise!" and escuchar is paying attention to what you are hearing (=listening). However, in practice we do mix them up quite often, so much that it's not completely censured. For example, I could easily say to someone on the phone when the communication starts failing "¡María, no te escucho!" when what I mean is "María, I can't hear you! (I can't perceive your voice any more)

So this is the same as the example you are giving with:

La escuché cantando.

This could mean "I listened to her singing" (you are really paying attention to her singing" or "I heard her singing" (you just heard the words coming out when she was singing - perceiving the words)

Saludos

Inma

Escuchar vs Oir

In English, "to hear" is a passive act to the person.  It happens to them, whether they wanted it to or not.   "To listen" is an active effort by the person. "If one listens well, he will hear it."  The Spanish dictionary says that "oir" is to hear.  However, "escuchar" can mean "to listen" or "to hear".  Is that correct?

"La escuché cantando" could mean "I listened to her singing" or "I heard her singing".  ??

Is that right?

Thanks

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