Hear an answer from someone or listen to someone

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English nerd

Senior Member
A girl said that she had learnt a chapter and wanted to speak it aloud to find out whether she's actually learnt it . So the teacher tells another girl to listen to the chapter.

So she says:

Hear the chapter from her.
Listen to her

What should be used "hear/listen"? I guess the second option sounds better. But what about the first option?

Thank you:)
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    She might tell the other girl, Will you hear her repeat the chapter, please.

    I used to get my parents to hear me say my times tables and various poems we had to learn by heart. The idea was that they would correct me if I went wrong. Is that what is going on in your context, English nerd?

    You might also use "listen to her", but in this specific context I'm more used to having someone "hear" the retelling of the lesson or the material learned by heart.


    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    A girl said that she had learnt a chapter and wanted to speak it aloud
    Usually "learn" doesn't mean that. It means "learn the information in the chapter".

    You are saying the girl "memorized" the chapter. She can remember every single word in the chapter, and recite it (speak it out loud) from memory. This is an unusual skill, in the US. In 13 years of school and 4 years of college, I never did that.

    Also, you can "memorize the words" (be able to repeat them out loud) without understanding the meaning of those words. We don't call that "learning" in English.

    Edit: We do say "learn the words" to mean memorize the words:

    Susan learned the words to my favorite song.
    Edith learned the words to a poem, written in French.
    Judy learned the words to a famous speech by Lincoln.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Yes, this is the kind of thing one says when there is rote-learning going on, and that isn't very usual in English-speaking schools nowadays.

    If you have a friend who is learning a part in a play, they may ask you to hear them/listen to them say their lines. You can use either verb, but "Hear the chapter from her" is not at all natural.
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