hearer or listener

Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering whether you think heard or listener is more natural when you refer to the person who is listening to the speaker when you are describing a dialogue:

1) The listener reacts with a smile.

2) The hearer reacts with a smile.

Thoughts and context: The speaker asked the listener and hearer whether he can use his or her cellphone he or she replies it with a smile.
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Neither is very natural. It would depend on how you had been describing the dialogue and on who the people were, but I would normally expect something like "His sister replied with a smile."
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Neither is very natural. It would depend on how you had been describing the dialogue and on who the people were, but I would normally expect something like "His sister replied with a smile."
    Got it. Thank you very much.

    Maybe I would use another case to illustrate my point. If we are talking about the difference of let us and let's, the biggest one would be let us sometimes would not require the listener/hear to perform the action.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I deal with the analysis of dialogue in my work. Sometimes we say addresser and addressee, but very often the terms are speaker and hearer. I associate listener with people listening to the radio.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I'm not sure it was clear enough from natkrepet's post, but these should be considered technical terms - we would not use them in everyday speech. As Glenfarclas said, we would usually use some other way of referring to the person who was being addressed. The man, Mr Smith, my friend, the stranger, etc.

    In your sentence, even though listener/hearer is more acceptable than in everyday speech, I would use "the person being addressed". I disagree completely with the content of your sentence, incidentally, but that's another question.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I'm not sure it was clear enough from natkrepet's post, but these should be considered technical terms - we would not use them in everyday speech. As Glenfarclas said, we would usually use some other way of referring to the person who was being addressed. The man, Mr Smith, my friend, the stranger, etc.

    In your sentence, even though listener/hearer is more acceptable than in everyday speech, I would use "the person being addressed". I disagree completely with the content of your sentence, incidentally, but that's another question.
    How about I use them to parse the sentence or explain the grammar?
     
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