Today we are going to explain the difference between the two Spanish verbs: Oír and Escuchar. If you still do not how to use them properly in Spanish, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem will help you master both in no time 😊

In our previous post, we have talked about the difference between ver and mirar. Today, we are going to focus on another couple of Spanish verbs whose use is frequently overlapped by Spanish learners.

As for ver and mirar, the main difference between the two Spanish verbs oír and escuchar lies in whether the action is performed intentionally or not.

In fact, we might say that the Spanish verb oír refers to the act of hearing, of perceiving and detect sounds, while escuchar refers to act of listening to, of paying attention to what we are said to.

Therefore, the difference in meaning is pretty much the same as the difference between the English verbs “hear” (oír) and “listen to” (escuchar).

Let’s see some examples in order to dispel any doubts 😊

Examples with OÍR

  • Mientras leía el periódico, oí el ruido de un trueno = While I was reading the newspaper, I heard a thunder
  • Las paredes de esta casa son tan finas que puedo oír a los vecinos = The walls of this house are so thin that I can hear the neighbors
  • Si dejas la ventana abierta oiremos todos los ruidos de la calle = If you leave the window open, we will hear the sounds of the street

Examples with ESCUCHAR

  • Me gusta escuchar la música mientras estudio = I like listening to music while I study
  • Escucha bien las instrucciones y síguelas al pie de la letra = Listen well to the instructions and follw them to the T
  • Llama a tu hermana y escucha lo que quiere decirte = Call your sister and listen to what she wants to say to you

To better understand the difference between oír and escuchar, let’s take a look at the examples below where both verbs are used in the same sentence:

Te oigo, pero no te escucho

I perceive the sound of your voice, but I am not paying attention to what you are saying

Te escucho pero no te oigo (bien)

I am trying to listen to you, but I cannot hear you (because of the noise, because you are too far, because my phone is not working well, etc.)

We really hope that this blog on the difference between the Spanish verbs: Oír and Escuchar helped you understand how to use them properly 😊

As always, we encourage you to make the most of your Spanish lessons and keep practicing the language inside and outside the classroom.

Finally, our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem in Valencia wishes you a nice day!

¡Hasta luego!