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 Senior Member

    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 Senior Member

    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"

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