Слышать vs. Слушать - which one to choose?

Part I: the main difference between Слышать and Слушать
Part II: some extra meanings to expand your vocabulary

Part I: the main difference between Слышать & Слушать
Слышать - воспринимать слухом (звуки) // to be aware of sounds with the ears, equal to the verb "hear" in English
Examples:
Я слышу пение птиц (звуки достигают моего слуха) // I hear the birds singing (the sounds reach my ears)
Я слышу голоса и не могу заснуть (голоса достигают моего слуха) // I hear the voices and can’t fall asleep (the voices reach my ears)
Он не может слышать, он глухой (звуки не достигают его слуха) // He can’t hear, he’s deaf (the sounds don’t reach his ears)
Слушать - направлять слух на звуки (с целью получить более или менее значимую информацию) // to pay attention to what we hear with an effort and purpose to get the information, equal to the verb "listen to" in English
Examples:⠀
Я слушаю музыку (в музыке есть что-то значимое, приятное) // I listen to music (music brings me something valuable and pleasant)
Я слушаю много подкастов на русском языке (в подкастах есть полезная информация) // I listen to many podcasts in Russian (podcasts contain useful information)
Он не может долго слушать, он неусидчивый (он не может воспринимать какую-то информацию долго) // He can’t listening for a long time, he’s impatient with it (he is not able to perceive information for a long period of time)
*Look at the sentence:
Он слушает, но не слышит.
Here “слышать” has another meaning: feel, perceive, pay attention, notice, understand (чувствовать, замечать, ощущать, воспринимать), so the sentence means:
He’s hearing (what I say), but doesn’t understand me.
More examples:
Я не слышу искренности в его словах // I can’t feel any sincerity in his words
Власти не слышат народ // The authorities don’t pay attention to people’s opinion
*Слышать in perfect aspect is услышать (to understand)
Услышь меня, пожалуйста! // Please, try to understand me!
Compare to:
Послушай меня, пожалуйста! // Listen to me, please
Returning to the first definition of “cлышать” we can expand it:
Слышать - воспринимать слухом (звуки), чтобы услышать
Слышать - to be aware of sounds with the ears to understand something

Part II: some extra meanings to expand your vocabulary:

Look at some other meanings of verbs Слушать and Слышать:

(1) Слушать - изучать что-либо, посещая лекции // to study something attending lectures
Он слушает курс философии в университете // He attends the course of philosophy at the university

(2) Слушать - следовать чьим-то рекомендациям, положительно воспринимать информацию от кого-либо // positively perceive the information from someone so that follow their advice
Он всегда слушает родителей // He always listen to his parents
Слушай своё сердце // Listen to your heart

(2.2) Слушаться (with reflexive suffix -ся) - подчиняться
Ребёнок не слушается // A child disobeys

(3) Слушать дело - рассматривать дело в суде // to listen to and judge a case in court⠀
Московский суд повторно слушает дело этой молодой женщины // Moscow court hears a case of this young woman for a second time

(1) Слышать - чувствовать музыку, разбираться в ней // to have an ear for music
Она не слышит музыку, ей будет труднее освоить скрипку // She doesn’t have an ear of music, it will be harder for her to master violin playing

(2) Слышать - обладать сведениями // to be told about something
Я слышала, она уже приехала в город //I heard, she had arrived in the city already
March 29, 2019
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Alevtina Utkina

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Parle:
Russe
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Chinois mandarin
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,
Portugais
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Français
Hi, I’m Alevtina. I’m a native Russian teacher. I’ve completed my Bachelor degree in the Chinese studies, my main sphere of interest at the university was China, that I investigated through the Chinese and English language, what was an amazing experience! According to your preferences I can teach you in Russian, English and Chinese. I worked as a translator and interpreter, tour-guide and model, since spring 2018 I'm focused on teaching Russian language to foreigners, because my real passion is linguistics itself and the process of languages acquisition. As your teacher I organise the lessons in the way to improve your communication in Russian. We practice speaking from the first lesson. I do make focus on pronunciation. We polish it if you continue learning Russian or I’ll teach you Russian sounds, stress and intonation from the scratch if you are a beginner. I’m also a big fan of Russian grammar. It is not easy, that’s true. But we can master it in a way to make it our helping hand more than an obstacle. Grammar, vocabulary and listening skills we can improve through the films, music and fragments of the world famous masterpieces in Russian language, as all of these are essential part of Russian cultural code. As for vocabulary I encourage you to apply some mnemonic techniques, we’ll play memory games like associations, memory castle, mental maps to expand your vocabulary effectively. Learning Russian you can track your progress and foresee upcoming topics we are going to learn in the google table I share with you after 3-4 lessons when the individual plan of progress can be clear. I’m currently learning Japanese and Portuguese, and keep going to master my English, Mandarin and Russian of course :D I like travelling around the world and I live in Saint Petersburg - the most beautiful city in Russia. Welcome to visit it, I can guiding you here. See you on the class!)
Flag
Russe
globe
Russie
time
82
Parle:
Russe
Langue maternelle
,
Anglais
C1
,
Chinois mandarin
B2
,
Portugais
A1
,
Japonais
A1
,
Français
Hi, I’m Alevtina. I’m a native Russian teacher. I’ve completed my Bachelor degree in the Chinese studies, my main sphere of interest at the university was China, that I investigated through the Chinese and English language, what was an amazing experience! According to your preferences I can teach you in Russian, English and Chinese. I worked as a translator and interpreter, tour-guide and model, since spring 2018 I'm focused on teaching Russian language to foreigners, because my real passion is linguistics itself and the process of languages acquisition. As your teacher I organise the lessons in the way to improve your communication in Russian. We practice speaking from the first lesson. I do make focus on pronunciation. We polish it if you continue learning Russian or I’ll teach you Russian sounds, stress and intonation from the scratch if you are a beginner. I’m also a big fan of Russian grammar. It is not easy, that’s true. But we can master it in a way to make it our helping hand more than an obstacle. Grammar, vocabulary and listening skills we can improve through the films, music and fragments of the world famous masterpieces in Russian language, as all of these are essential part of Russian cultural code. As for vocabulary I encourage you to apply some mnemonic techniques, we’ll play memory games like associations, memory castle, mental maps to expand your vocabulary effectively. Learning Russian you can track your progress and foresee upcoming topics we are going to learn in the google table I share with you after 3-4 lessons when the individual plan of progress can be clear. I’m currently learning Japanese and Portuguese, and keep going to master my English, Mandarin and Russian of course :D I like travelling around the world and I live in Saint Petersburg - the most beautiful city in Russia. Welcome to visit it, I can guiding you here. See you on the class!)
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