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  1. #1
    Etern1ty is offline Newbie
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    Default listen/listen to

    Hello.
    Is the phrase: "Can you just listen for a change" right? We don't need to put "to" after listen? Does "listen" always need "to" or no?
    For example, if I somebody want to say something, and I'll tell: "I'm listening" it's okay I guess? "I'm listening to" sounds weird, or, maybe, "I'm listening to you" would be ok
    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Gnome's Avatar
    Gnome is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: listen/listen to

    Hello Etern1ty, I'm an American high school student. I'm not a teacher, but I hope my advice can be helpful to you.

    "Listening" does not always need to have a "to" at the end. You can just write "listening" in most situations: "Can you just listen for a change." But when you're identifying what you're listening, you usually add the word "to": "I'm listening to the radio right now."

    I hope this helps!

  3. #3
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: listen/listen to

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
    Hello Etern1ty, I'm an American high school student. I'm not a teacher, but I hope my advice can be helpful to you.

    "Listening" does not always need to have a "to" at the end. You can just write "listening" in most situations:
    I hope this helps!
    You are right there.
    When you give attention to some one with the ear or give ear for the purpose of only hearing, you do not need ‘to’.
    She does all the talking - I just sit and listen.

    When you need to pay attention; heed; obey the verb is usually followed by to:
    Children should always listen to their parents.
    You haven't listened to a word I've said.

  4. #4
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: listen/listen to

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    When you give attention to some one someone with the ear or give ear for the purpose of only hearing, you do not need ‘to’.
    She does all the talking - I just sit and listen (to her).
    Your account is eloquent but unconvincing.

  5. #5
    mmasny is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: listen/listen to

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    Your account is eloquent but unconvincing.
    And yours is very laconic. Would you try to be more specific?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: listen/listen to

    I agree with Gnome- it depends on whether there's an object mentioned rather than the degree of attention IMO.

    I listened.
    I listened to music/the radio/them/what she said/the speech.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: listen/listen to

    I entirely agree. You only need to add "to" if you are going to specify who or what you are listening to. How hard you are listening is irrelevant!

    I'm listening.
    I'm listening to you.
    I'm listening to a programme on the radio.
    Are you listening? Can you hear me?
    Yes, I'm listening.
    No, I'm listening to my friend.
    I'm listening very carefully.

  8. #8
    Etern1ty is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: listen/listen to

    Oh, thank you all! I got it :)

  9. #9
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: listen/listen to

    Thanks to all posters above. I keep reading and learning.

    I just would like to add, that "listen for", depending on the context, may have a different meaning. Very similar to "look for". When you look for something, you are trying to find it, let us say, with your eyes. And when you "listen for" something, you may be trying to find it also, but with your ears.

    I have been hearing the expression "listen for" with that meaning in some situations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Etern1ty View Post
    Is the phrase: "Can you just listen for a change" right?
    It would be interesting if you could provide us some context from where you took this sentence.

    PS Not a native speaker

  10. #10
    kfredson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: listen/listen to

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Thanks to all posters above. I keep reading and learning.

    I just would like to add, that "listen for", depending on the context, may have a different meaning. Very similar to "look for". When you look for something, you are trying to find it, let us say, with your eyes. And when you "listen for" something, you may be trying to find it also, but with your ears.

    I have been hearing the expression "listen for" with that meaning in some situations.



    It would be interesting if you could provide us some context from where you took this sentence.

    PS Not a native speaker
    Hello ymnisky! Yes, the words "listen for" jumped out at me, as well. The sentence could indicate that someone is "listening for" a change in the melody or in the meaning of something. On second reading, though, I believe the expression being used here is "for a change." "It would be nice if you would listen -- for a change."

    However, it is absolutely true that we use "listen for" a great deal. It indicates an activity, a searching for a specific meaning or nuance, in a way that "listen" or "listen to" does not.

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