hear from/with my left ear

Saltie

Senior Member
Russian, Russia, Sochi
Hi!

Which preposition is correct? Hear with or from one's ear? E.g.:

1) Doctor, I've got a fever and I can't hear anything from my left ear.
2) Doctor, I've got a fever and I can't hear anything with my left ear.

3) She's very old. She can hear from her left ear very badly, but her right one is still OK.
4) She's very old. She can hear with her left ear very badly, but her right one is still OK.

5) He heard a strange buzzing sound from his left ear.
6) He heard a strange buzzing sound with his left ear.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    6 - He heard the sound in his ear, probably, unless he was straining to pick up the sound with that particular ear, which seems unlikely.:D

    I think I might use "in" for all three, but only 6 (out of 2,4,6) struck me as odd.
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    6 - He heard the sound in his ear, probably, unless he was straining to pick up the sound with that particular ear, which seems unlikely.:D

    I think I might use "in" for all three, but only 6 (out of 2,4,6) struck me as odd.

    "In" sounds like it might be tinnitus, not something you actually hear.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Is it said differently in AE then? I would always expect “I can’t hear in that ear”, in the same way as people say “I’m deaf in one ear”.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Is it said differently in AE then? I would always expect “I can’t hear in that ear”, in the same way as people say “I’m deaf in one ear”.
    I agree with the negative. I can't hear in one or the other ear is colloquial. However, "hearing in" the ear (in the positive sense) sounds like the noise is originating within the ear.

    "I hear better with my left ear than I do with my right.":tick:
    "I hear better in my left ear than I do in my right.":thumbsdown: (Based on my experience, not on any particular rule of language. Your results may vary, as they say.)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "In" sounds like it might be tinnitus, not something you actually hear.
    Yes, that is exactly what suggested itself to me when I read 5 and 6:

    5) He heard a strange buzzing sound from his left ear.
    6) He heard a strange buzzing sound with his left ear.
    In BE we would probably say "He could hear a strange buzzing sound in his left ear".

    For the other interpretation, "with" might be fine. I imagine someone with faulty earphones on:
    He only heard a strange buzzing sound with his left ear, but with his right ear he could just detect the opening bars of his favourite piano sonata.
     
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