Hear and Listen

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“Do you hear that noise? I think the neighbors got a new dog.”

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“You should listen to my advice, I’ve done this before.”

Hear” and “Listen” are two very similar words that have to do with our auditory senses.


Hear” is very basic, it just means to notice a sound. It is very passive.

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“My father is hard of hearing.” (he can’t notice sounds well)


Listen” could be defined as Hear and understand/process”. It is an active skill. You are paying attention.

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“I had to listen to my professor lecture for two hours.”

The student hears the professor and uses his brain to try to understand the information.


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“I love listening to music.”

You not only notice a sound, you pay attention and enjoy it.
This is very different from:

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“I hear music”

which means you notice that there is music, as a sound, but you are not trying to process and enjoy it.


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“Are you listening to me?”

Might be something a parent or friend asks if it looks like you’re not paying attention.

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“Can you hear me?”

would be something said over a bad phone connection. You are asking if their ears can notice the sound of your voice.

Salary and Wage

Salary and wage are fairly similar but there is a big difference. Both refer to the money you get for a job, but one is a fixed amount and one is an hourly amount.

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If you get hired at a job that pays $52,000 a year then that is a salary. Some companies in North America pay you once a week (payday!) and so you would get $1,000 every week. Although your job might have set hours (9-5) you won’t lose pay if you are sick, late or there is a holiday. You may get in trouble for being sick or late, but it won’t affect your salary.

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A job that pays $10 an hour is giving you a wage. You get paid for how many hours you work in a pay period (maybe every week or every two weeks). If you worked 40 hours you get $400, if you worked 20 you get $200. Being sick, late or having holidays means that you didn’t work certain hours and you will make less money.

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Both positions do usually offer overtime pay if you work more than 40 hours in a week or on holidays. This isn’t always the case with salaried positions, but it does happen frequently.