Homophones can be tricky to differentiate in English, and, in this post, I want to talk about the two homophones here and hear.
As with all homophones, these two words sounds identical when spoken. This is partly what makes them difficult to differentiate, but they are close in spelling.
What is the Difference Between Here and Hear?
Today, I want to discuss the differences between these two words, their functions in a sentence, and provide you with what you need to tell them apart in the future. After reading this post, you shouldn’t ever mix up here vs. hear again.
When to Use Here
The word here can function as an adverb, adjective, and a noun. All of its uses deal with the location or place of a particular person or thing.
- Can we stop here for a bathroom break? (Adverb)
- We’ll stop the meeting here so everyone can get home early. (Adverb)
- This car here is stolen. (Adjective)
- The problem here is that no one knows how to get home. (Adjective)
- “Here, in 140 characters or fewer, is some free advice for Twitter’s next chief executive.” – The New York Times (Noun)
As you can see, all of these uses have to do with the location of something. In other words, here is where you are or where something is; it is never something you do.
Popular Phrases Using Here
There are quite a few phrases and idioms that incorporate the use of the word here. Here is a selection of them.
- Here and now.
- I am focused on the here and now.
- Here and there.
- I decorated the house for Christmas with lights here and there.
- Here goes.
- I’m not sure what will happen after this but here goes.
- Here’s to something/someone.
- Here’s to the bride and groom; may their love never fade away.
- Here today, gone tomorrow.
- The artist has little talent and will likely be here today, gone tomorrow.
- Here we go again.
- After the fight broke out, all I could think was, “Here we go again.”
- Neither here nor there.
- Whatever the dispute was is neither here nor there. The actions that took place after are of concern.
When to Use Hear
Hear is a verb having to do with the ability to perceive sound. It can function as a transitive and intransitive verb.
- Can you hear my voice?
- I heard they got engaged.
- I have not heard from her lately.
- I heard about your surgery.
- “We expect to hear plenty about gaming’s monster franchises like Call of Duty, Halo and Madden at the Los Angeles conference.” – The Wall Street Journal
Popular Phrases Using Hear
As is the case with here, there are quite a few phrases that incorporate the word hear. Here is a selection of them.
- Hear, hear. (Also, hear! hear!)
- We deserve better than to be treated this way. Hear, hear!
A common spelling mistake is to spell hear, hear with here, i.e., here, here. That is incorrect.
- Never hear the end of.
- That happened one time, and you never let me hear the end of it.
Remember the Difference
There is a great memory trick buried inside of these words that is extremely helpful in determining whether you want to use here or hear.
If you look at the word hear, the last three letters spell ear. Since you hear with your ears, this is a great way to remember that hear has to do with sound.
Similarly, if you look at the word here, it spells out the last four letters of the word there, both of which have to do with location.
If you can remember these two tricks, you should be all set.
Although these words sound the same, they are quite different in their uses. In order to avoid any embarrassing mistakes, it’s best to under the difference between hear vs. here.
Here has to do with the location of things.
Hear has to do with sound and one’s ability to perceive it.