I can't hear you = oir/escuchar

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by marchpisces, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. marchpisces New Member

    I am talking on a phone and I want to say "we have a bad connection...I can't hear you"...do I say 'No te oigo' or 'No te escucho'? What is the difference between the two?
  2. SmallJosie Senior Member

    I have heard both!
  3. Cracker Jack Senior Member

    oir - hear
    escuchar - listen

    Oir is just passive reception of soundwaves while escuchar involves conscious effort to process the stimulus - receive, recognize, distinguish, discern, and understand the message, if any being conveyed by the sound.
  4. crises

    crises Senior Member

    EU Spanish/Catalan
    Una explicación excelente, Cracker Jack. No podría estar más de acuerdo contigo. :)
  5. Limeade Senior Member

    I have been told through numerous bad connections!!! No te escucho bien! No te escucho bien!!
  6. MarX Banned

    Indonesian, Indonesia
    Yes, but for "I've heard a lot of times (that) ...", somehow "He escuchado muchas veces ..." sounds better than "He oído muchas veces ...". Or am I wrong here?
  7. franmadrid Senior Member

    spanish madrid
    In Spanish, they overlap much more than in English. You can perfectly say "Estoy oyendo la radio" meaning "I´m listening to the radio"
    And you can also say "Escuché una fuerte explosión" meaning "I heard a big explossion"
  8. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    I think that is a fantastic explanation of the difference between hear and listen in English, but in my experience, this is not always observed in Spanish (rightly or wrongly so, I don't know). FranMadrid's examples are everyday ocurrences where I live, and my Spanish (peninsular) pupils have great difficulty in distinguishing hear and listen in English because they are unaware of any difference in their own language.
  9. Fernita

    Fernita Moderada-mente

    Buenos Aires-Argentina
    castellano de Argentina.
  10. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Gracias Fernita. Supuse que se habría comentado anteriormente y por eso busqué un hilo viejo e hice mi comentario allí. Sin embargo, no había visto el hilo que me mandas. Total, la conclusión (me parece) es que hay una diferencia clara para el que mira o quiere ver, pero otros muchos no la aprecian o no la practican.
  11. Fernita

    Fernita Moderada-mente

    Buenos Aires-Argentina
    castellano de Argentina.
    De nada, inib. Veo que quedó claro.
  12. Aviador

    Aviador Senior Member

    Santiago de Chile (a veces)
    Castellano de Chile
    A bright explanation with which I could not agree more. Bravo!
    It is clear though that in some Spanish speaking areas there is a strong tendency to prefer escuchar over oír though they convey clearly different meanings in general Spanish.
    In the Sólo español forum, there are also some discussions about this subject: Oir Vs. Escuchar.

  13. daniel625 New Member

    English - Ireland
    My students (Colombians) also have this problem. The difference may exist in soanish, but I never see it observed- in fact, I think most people here that I socialise and work with use them the other way round.
  14. autrex2811

    autrex2811 Banned

    Toluca, México
    Español-castellano, son lo mismo
    Escuchar es oír con atención, con detenimiento y reflexión.
    Oír es percibir sonidos.

    Empléelo como "No te oigo"

Share This Page