hear/listen to

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hear/listen to

Post by Quoc » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:45 pm

1. They pronounced 3 words and I heard them. I heard they pronounce these 3 words the same sound.
2. They pronounced 3 words and I listened to them. I listen they pronounce these 3 words the same sound.

What sentence is wrong? What sentence is correct? Why?

Thanks
Quoc
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hear/listen to

Post by zmjezhd » Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:17 am

Quoc. It depends what you mean with the two pairs of sentences. I've rewritten your sentences so they are grammatical. The second version combines the two sentences into one.

1a. They pronounced three words, and I heard them. I heard them pronounce these three words with the same sound.

1b. They pronounced three words, and I heard them pronounce these three words the same.

2a. They pronounced three words, and I listened to them. I listened to them pronounce these three words with the same sound.

2b. They pronounced three words, and I listened to them pronounce these three words with the same sound.

In (1a), the first them (at the end of the first sentence) is ambiguous in its reference. It could refer to the persons you heard or the words you heard those persons pronounce. In (2a), the first them (at the end of the first sentence) only refers to the persons that you were listening to. I hope this helps.
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hear/listen to

Post by Wizard of Oz » Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:52 am

.. Quoc there is often a distinction made between hear and listen .. this refers to making an active choice .. you may hear a sound but not listen to that sound .. listen carries with it the implied meaning that you actively engaged in making an interpretation of the sound that you heard .. when you listen it carries the sense of you paying attention ..

WoZ of Aus 12/12/06
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

hear/listen to

Post by hsargent » Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:16 pm

Native English speakers would say something like:

The three words are homonyms: to, too, and two. They are pronounced the same with different meanings.
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Signature: Harry Sargent

End of topic.
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