‘Hear’ vs ‘Here’: What’s the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on March 20, 2023

You might have seen both ‘hear’ and ‘here’ while learning the English language. But what’s the difference between these words? We’ll answer that in this article, plus you’ll learn how to use both words in a sentence and pronounce them correctly.

Need an answer now? Here’s a quick one:

  • ‘Hear’ is a verb that means to perceive sounds through the ear.
  • ‘Here’ is an adverb that means in, on, or at a place.

While these words might sound the same when you say them out loud, they’re spelled differently and have different definitions. That means you cannot use them interchangeably.

What’s the Difference Between ‘Here’ and ‘Hear’?

The main difference between these words is clearly the spelling of the words. They might sound the same, but they mean different things, making them homophones.

‘Here’ is an adverb, and it refers to a place.

For example, someone might say:

  • “I’m here” when they’re arriving somewhere to pick someone up.

‘Hear’ is a verb that means to perceive sound or be aware of it.

For example, when you listen to music:

Word Choice: ‘Hear’ vs. ‘Here’

If you’re wondering how to use each of these words, here’s a quick introductory lesson.

  • When you’re talking about a sound, use ‘hear.’
  • When you’re talking about a place, use ‘here.’

Simple as that.

Definition of ‘Here’: What Does ‘Here’ Mean?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘here’ as:

  • In or at this place.

It also means:

  • Now
  • In an arbitrary location
  • At this point, a particular or case
  • The present life or state on earth
  • To this place (hither)
  • Used for encouragement or in rebuke
  • Used for emphasis, especially after a demonstrative pronoun or after a noun modified by a demonstrative adjective
  • This place

Definition of ‘Hear’: What Does ‘Hear’ Mean?

The same dictionary defines ‘hear’ as:

  • To perceive or become aware of by the ear.

Other definitions include:

  • To gain knowledge by hearing
  • To listen to with attention (heed)
  • Attend
  • Law: to give a listening to legal arguments
  • Law: to take testimony from
  • To become aware of a sound
  • To gain from information (learn)
  • To receive communication
  • To entertain the idea (used negatively)

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Hear’ and ‘Here’

Are you wondering how to pronounce these words correctly? Here’s a short guide.

To pronounce these words correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling:

HEER

How to Use ‘Hear’ and ‘Here’ in a Sentence

Now that we’ve got the definitions and pronunciation out of the way let’s see some examples of how to use these words in a sentence.

Hear

  • I hear time flies when you’re having fun. That’s definitely been true since I’ve been on vacation.
  • I hear you’re staying at a hotel – one of the best in the country. I’d really love an honest review from you when you return.
  • I hear your family’s business isn’t doing so well. How are you doing?
  • I hear you listen to music and sometimes play it on the weekend. Do you want to play together sometime?
  • I took a hearing test today, and I had to listen to different tones playing in my ears. It was pretty quick and easy.

Here 

  • I don’t think we should be here because there’s no one here. This abandoned building looks haunted!
  • There’s no one home to bring me to the school dance. My dad said I could go but then completely forgot!
  • It’s been nice talking to you since you’ve been here. How long do you plan on staying?
  • I’ve been working here for over twenty years. I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my life or time.
  • I told my co-worker I really didn’t want to be at work today. She said she would cover for me, so I went home early.

Final Advice on ‘Hear’ and ‘Here’

To recap, we learned that:

  • ‘Hear’ is a verb, and it means to perceive sounds through the ear.
  • ‘Here’ is an adverb, and it refers to a place.

Remember, these words might sound the same when you say them out loud, but they’re spelled differently and have different meanings. That means you should avoid using them interchangeably.

If you ever have trouble with these words again, feel free to come back and review what you learned. Bookmark the page if you need to. We’ve also got a ton of other content you can check out on confusing words and phrases you might have trouble with while learning this tricky language. You’re welcome to it anytime.

Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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