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    #1

    hearing the radio the whole evening

    Hello,

    I'd appreciate it if somebody could tell me if my arguments are solid. I've got a sentence "He was hearing the radio the whole evening" and I need to explain why it is wrong.

    Bearing in mind that 'hear' is a non-progressive verb, it should be rewritten as
    "He was listening to the radio the whole evening".
    That can be applied to a context when 'he' did that deliberately. However, there is a chance of hearing the sounds of the radio unintentionally ('he' couldn't help hearing the radio blaring from his neighbours' flat). In this case the sentence should be rewritten as
    "He heard the radio the whole evening" (I don't like it and seems strange to me)
    or
    "He could hear the radio the whole evening"
    or
    "He couldn't but heard the radio the whole evening".

    Thank you in advance.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening

    I think the original might be okay with the idea of it being off and on.

    He was hearing the radio off and on all evening, and it was driving him crazy.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening



    Incidentally, '...couldn't but hear[no D]...' is archaic, and '..couldn't help but hear...' is dated. Use '...couldn't help hearing...'.

    b

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    #4

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening

    Thank you!
    Am I right that "He heard the radio the whole evening" is strange?

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Thank you!
    Am I right that "He heard the radio the whole evening" is strange?
    Just like that, yes. But as Barb said, when the noise is intermittent it's possible - in, say 'He kept hearing the radio off and on all evening' (that is, the noise of the radio kept making itself felt - maybe because the sound really was intermittent, or else because he was trying to concentrate on something else, and the noise kept interrupting his stream of thought).

    But the short answer's yes, you're right.

    b

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    #6

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post


    Incidentally, '...couldn't but hear[no D]...' is archaic, and '..couldn't help but hear...' is dated. Use '...couldn't help hearing...'.

    b
    This reminds me of a useful bit of vocabulary, which can oil the wheels of conversation: when two strangers are discussing something, you can enter the conversation with the gambit: 'Excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing that <point-of-common-interest>...'.

    b

  5. nyota's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    This reminds me of a useful bit of vocabulary, which can oil the wheels of conversation: when two strangers are discussing something, you can enter the conversation with the gambit: 'Excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing that <point-of-common-interest>...'.

    b
    I found "gambit" and "oil the wheels of conversation" far more useful.

  6. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    This reminds me of a useful bit of vocabulary, which can oil the wheels of conversation: when two strangers are discussing something, you can enter the conversation with the gambit: 'Excuse me, but I couldn't help overhearing that <point-of-common-interest>...'.

    b

    It can also backfire big time.

    Anyway, don't you think the word gambit is misused here?

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    #9

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening

    Gambit | Define Gambit at Dictionary.com

    Sounds like definition 3.

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    #10

    Re: hearing the radio the whole evening

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post

    mmmk I still don't think it's used properly here

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