Verbs: Hear/Listen and Ouvir

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Verbs: Hear/Listen and Ouvir Empty Verbs: Hear/Listen and Ouvir

Post by Kangas on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:04 am

This is a very common situation between the Portuguese and English languages. In English it is common to use more than one verb to describe small variations of a certain action, while in Portuguese you usually use only one verb.

In this particular case and even though both verbs are indeed synonyms verb to Hear is used in a broader spectrum while verb to Listen is a much more specific one. For example, you can hear people talking but being unable to listen to what they say. Even though it's the same action, one is more especific than the other. In Portuguese you can also use a different verb for "listen" (escutar), however most people will simply use the same for both and that is the verb Ouvir.

  • To Hear

    1. tr to perceive (a sound) with the sense of hearing
    2. tr; may take a clause as object to listen to ⇒ "did you hear what I said?"
    3. when intr, sometimes foll by of or about; when tr, may take a clause as object to be informed (of); receive information (about) ⇒ "to hear of his success", "have you heard?"
    4. (law) to give a hearing to (a case)
    5. when intr, usually foll by of and used with a negative to listen (to) with favour, assent, etc ⇒ "she wouldn't hear of it"
    6. intr foll by from to receive a letter, news, etc (from)

  • To Listen

    1. to concentrate on hearing something
    2. to take heed; pay attention ⇒ "I told you many times but you wouldn't listen"

  • Ouvir

    verbo transitivo e intransitivo
    1. (perceber os sons) to hear;
    Examples: ouvi um barulho estranho/ I heard a strange noise; ouvi-a a chorar na sala ao lado / I heard her crying in the next room; ouviste o que eu disse? / did you hear what I said?; não ouço nada! / I can't hear a thing!; conseguem ouvir-me? / can you hear me?; não te estou a ouvir / I can't hear you; ela estava a ouvir vozes / she was hearing voices; ouve-se cada uma! / the things you hear!; ouve-me até ao fim hear me out; ouvir sem querer / to overhear; a sua voz ouvia-se bem / his voice carried clearly; será que estou a ouvir bem? / am I hearing right?
    2. (às escondidas) to listen in (on); to eavesdrop (on);
    Examples: não ouças as conversas dos outros / don't listen in to other people's conversations; ouvir atrás das portas / to eavesdrop

    verbo transitivo
    1. (escutar) to listen to;
    Examples: ouvir música ou rádio / to listen to music or to the radio;ele não me quis ouvir / he wouldn't listen to me; devias ouvir os conselhos da tua mãe / you should listen to your mother's advice; pelo menos ouve o que eu tenho para dizer / at least listen to what I have to say, at least hear what I have to say; ouça o que lhe digo! / mark my words!; ouve com atenção / listen carefully; ouçam todos! / listen up!
    2.(tomar o depoimento) to hear;
    Examples: o tribunal vai ouvir o caso na próxima segunda-feira / the court will hear the case next Monday; o juiz ouviu as testemunhas / the judge heard the witnesses
    3. (atender) to hear;
    Example: o Senhor ouviu as minhas preces / the Lord heard my prayers



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