Listen /ˈlɪsən/ verb [intransitive]

1. to pay attention to what someone is saying or to a sound that you can hear:

- Listen! There’s a strange noise in the engine.

listen to

- We sat around listening to music.

listen carefully/intently/hard,etc.

- The whole class was listening attentively.

- Liz stood still and listened hard (= very carefully).

Listen is never followed directly by a noun. Use to and then a noun or a clause:

- Listen to what I say (NOT Listen what I say).

2. spoken used to tell someone to pay attention to what you are going to say:

- Listen, I want you to come with me.

3. to consider what someone says and accept their advice :

- I told him not to go, but he just wouldn’t listen.

listen to

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gh the open window. 
BUG /bʌg/ [transitive verb] to hide a small piece of electronic recording equipment in someone’s room, car, 
office,etc. in order to listen secretly to what is said there: ▪ Security agents bugged their offices and managed to 
get some evidence against them. ▪ Wells was convinced the house was bugged and insisted on playing loud music 
while we talked. 
TAP /tæp/ [transitive verb] to connect a piece of electronic recording equipment to a telephone system so that you 
can listen to people’s telephone conversations: ▪ Later we realized our phones had been tapped and the police 
knew everything. ▪ The President had to resign over an illegal phone-tapping operation. 
MONITOr /ˈmɒnɪtəʳ, ˈmɒnətəʳǁˈmɑː-/ [transitive verb] to listen to another country’s radio or television broadcasts 
or radio messages in order to get information about that country: ▪ Satellite technology means that enemy 
airwaves can be monitored more closely than ever before. 
3. WHAT YOU SAY WHEN TELLING SOMEONE TO LISTEN 
LISTEN /ˈlɪsən/ spoken say this when you want someone to listen and pay attention to what you are saying: ▪ 
Listen! There’s someone coming upstairs! ▪ Listen, I’ve just had a really good idea. 
LISTEN UP /ˌlɪsən ˈʌp/ spoken say this when you want someone, especially a group of people, to pay close 
attention to what you are saying, especially when you are giving them instructions: ▪ Okay, class. Listen up. Open 
your books at page 33. ▪ The directions are complicated so listen up. 
4. TO LISTEN TO THE RADIO 
LISTEN TO /ˈlɪsən tuː/ [verb phrase] to listen to a radio programme or a particular radio station: ▪ Lucy sat in 
her car, listening to the radio. ▪ I always listen to the news while I have my breakfast. ▪ What station are you 
listening to? 
TUNE IN /ˌtjuːn ˈɪnǁˌtuːn-/ [intransitive phrasal verb] to turn on your radio and listen to a particular programme, 
especially if you do this at the same time each week: ▪ Be sure to tune in next week at the same time for another 
exciting episode of ‘Death Ray’.tune in to ▪ Tune in to the Breakfast Show tomorrow to win VIP tickets to the 
Lollapalooza festival on Long Island. 
 Ngân Phương Vy ~ August 24
th
, 2014 LISTEN / HEAR 4 
5. SOMEONE WHO LISTENS 
LISTENER /ˈlɪsənəʳ/ [countable noun] someone who is listening to a speech, piece of music,etc., or who 
regularly listens to a particular radio programme or station: ▪ He paused momentarily to check that his listeners 
had fully appreciated the humour of his remark. ▪ The programme already has more than two million listeners 
across the country. 
AUDIENCE /ˈɔːdiənsǁˈɔː-, ˈɑː-/ [countable noun with singular or plural verb in British English] a group of people 
who watch and listen to someone speaking or performing in public, or who listen to a radio or television 
programme or station: ▪ The second comedian really made the audience laugh. ▪ The audience consisted mainly of 
young girls under sixteen. ▪ WMLD’s audience is mainly young and black. ▪ These two programs are both news 
and current affairs, but they cater for very different audiences. 
BE A GOOD LISTENER /biː ə ˌgʊd ˈlɪsənəʳ/ [verb phrase] if someone is a good listener, they always listen 
carefully and sympathetically when someone else is talking: ▪ Cara’s a really good listener, so she always has 
someone telling her their problems. 
HEAR / hɪə ~ hɪr/ verb 
(past tense and past participle heard / hɜːd ~ hɜːrd /) 
1. HEAR SOUNDS/WORDS,ETC. [intransitive, transitive not in progressive] to know that a sound is being made, 
using your ears: 
 - Blanche heard a crash as the back door was flung open. 
 - Did anyone see or hear anything last night? 
 - Old Zeke doesn’t hear too well any more. 
hear somebody/something doing something 
 - Jenny could hear them arguing outside. 
hear somebody do something 
 - She heard Tom go upstairs. 
hear what/who,etc. 
 - I couldn’t hear what they were saying most of the time. 
be heard to do something 
 - She didn’t want to be heard to criticize him. 
► Do not confuse hear with listen to, which means ‘hear and pay attention to’: 
 - You should listen to my advice (NOT You should hear my advice). 
2 LISTEN TO SOMEBODY/SOMETHING [transitive not in progressive] to listen to what someone is saying, the music 
they are playing,etc.: 
 - Maggie did not wait to hear an answer. 
 - Did you hear that programme on whales the other night? 
hear what 
 - I want to hear what the doctor has to say. 
I hear what you say/what you’re saying spoken (= used to tell someone that you have listened to their opinion, 
but do not agree with it ) 
 - I hear what you say, but I don’t think we should rush this decision. 
 Ngân Phương Vy ~ August 24
th
, 2014 LISTEN / HEAR 5 
3. BE TOLD SOMETHING [intransitive, transitive not usually in progressive] to be told or find out a piece of 
information: 
 - I heard a rumor that he was getting married soon. 
hear (that) 
 - I’m so sorry to hear he died. 
 - She’ll be pleased to hear that she can leave hospital tomorrow. 
hear about 
 - Teresa heard about the decision later. 
hear of 
 - I’ve heard of a job which would be just right for you. 
 - This was the first I’d heard of any trouble in the area (= I had just heard news of trouble for the first time) 
 - He was last heard of in Washington (= he was in Washington the last time someone had information about 
him). 
hear anything/much of somebody/something 
 - We don’t hear anything of him these days. 
so I hear/so I’ve heard spoken (= used to say that you have been told something or know it already) 
 - There’s a nasty infection going round, so I hear. 
hear what/how/who,etc. 
 - Did you hear what happened to Julia? 
 - I’ve heard it said that they met in Italy. 
4. [transitive] to listen to all the facts in a case in a court of law in order to make a legal decision: 
 - The Supreme Court heard the case on Tuesday. 
5. have heard of somebody/something to know that someone or something exists because they have been 
mentioned to you before : 
 - ‘Do you know Jill Marshall?’ ‘No, I’ve never heard of her.’ 
6. not hear the last of somebody used to say that someone will continue to complain about something or cause 
problems: 
 - I’ll sue him. He hasn’t heard the last of me yet. 
7. you could hear a pin drop used to emphasize how quiet a place is: 
 - You could have heard a pin drop in there. 
→ unheard of = not hear or listen to: chưa hề nghe nói đến 
SPOKEN PHRASES 
8. won’t/wouldn’t hear of it used to say that you refuse to agree with a suggestion or proposal : 
 - I said we should go back, but Dennis wouldn’t hear of it. 
9. I/he,etc. will never hear the end of it used to say that someone will continue to talk about something for a 
long time: 
 - If my Mum finds out, I’ll never hear the end of it. 
10. be hearing things to imagine you can hear a sound when really there is no sound : 
 - There’s no one there. I must be hearing things. 
11. (do) you hear? used to emphasize that you are giving someone an order and they must obey you : 
I want you to leave right now. Do you hear? 
12. you can’t hear yourself think used to emphasize how noisy a place is: 
Just shut up, Tom. I can’t hear myself think. 
13. now hear this! American English old use used to introduce an important official announcement 
14. hear! hear! used in a discussion or meeting to say that you agree with what the speaker is saying 
15. have you heard the one about... used when asking someone if they know a joke 
16. I’ve heard that one before used when you do not believe someone’s excuse or explanation 
17. let's hear it for somebody used to say that someone deserves praise, or to ask people to show their approval 
of someone by clapping 
 Ngân Phương Vy ~ August 24
th
, 2014 LISTEN / HEAR 6 
THESAURUS 
hear to know that a sound is being made, using your ears: 
 - There’s no need to shout – I can hear you! 
 - Voices could be heard in the distance. 
listen to pay attention to something, using your ears: 
 - I was listening to the news on the car radio. 
 - He never listens to anything I say. 
make out to hear something with difficulty: 
 - When I got closer, I could make out a human voice. 
 - I could just make out what he was saying. 
overhear to accidentally hear another person’s conversation: 
 - I overheard her say to her friend that she had lost something. 
catch to hear something that someone says: 
 - Sorry, I didn’t catch your name. 
 - I caught the last few minutes of the programme. 
tune in to listen to a programme – often used in announcements on the radio: 
 - Tune in for all the latest news and views from around the world. 
 - Thousands of people tune in to the show every week. 
audible adjective loud enough to be heard: 
 - Her words were clearly audible. 
 - an audible whisper 
hear from somebody phrasal verb [not in progressive] 
1. to receive news or information from someone: 
 - Do you ever hear from Jack? 
 - Police want to hear from anyone who has any information. 
 - I look forward to hearing from you (= hope to receive news from you). 
2. to listen to someone giving their opinion in a radio or television discussion programme: 
a chance to hear from some of the victims of violent crime 
hear somebody out phrasal verb [not in passive] to listen to all of what someone wants to tell you without 
interrupting them: 
 - Just hear me out, will you? 
RELATED WORDS & EXPRESSIONS 
1. TO HEAR SOMETHING OR SOMEONE 
HEAR /hɪəʳ/ [intransitive/transitive verb not in progressive] ▪ Did you hear that noise? ▪ Suddenly we heard a 
knock at the door. ▪ Say that again -- I didn’t hear you. ▪ She called after him but he kept on walking and 
pretended not to hear. 
HEAR SOMEBODY/SOMETHING DOING SOMETHING ▪ Neighbours heard the child screaming and 
called the police. ▪ I could have sworn I heard the phone ringing. 
HEAR SOMEBODY/SOMETHIN

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