There are 3 听 (hear or listen to). What is the difference between 听到, 听过, and 听说?

6 Answers 6


听到 means : you are listening to something right now. 听过 means: you have heard about it. 听说 means: you heard someone's something from anther people, and you are talking to this people about this thing.


To understand them, you should learn their structures. They have different structures:

听到 verb - result complement (outcome is achieved)

听过 verb - experiential aspect (EXP) marker (got the experince)

听说 a compound (hear somebody say)

The basic meaning of 听 is 'to listen'.

到 is a result complement expressing the meaning that the outcome of the action is achieved. When you try to listen to something, what is the desired outcome of your action? The outcome is that you can hear it. The negative form is 沒听到 or 听不到.

When you listen(听) to music, you do it intentionally. Usually you can hear(听到) the music if nothing disturbs you. When you are at the street, you can hear(听到) different noise. You do not intentionally listen(听) to the noise, but the outcome of listening is achieved. When you are alone, you cannot hear(听不到) my voice, even if you try hard to listen(听) to it.

Note: the complement 到 seems to mean that you do not intentionally do something, but this is a misunderstanding. It actually means that the outcome of the action is achieved. When 到 is absent, the verb is by default intentional, but when 到 is present, the meaning of achieving the outcome prevails, so the phrase are usually no longer intentional.

过 is an (or 'the') EXP aspect marker. (Chinese has no tense but aspect.) The EXP aspect emphasize the experience of the action. 听过 can mean 'have ever heard' or 'have ever listened'. The negative is 沒听过. For example, I have ever listened to the compositions by Hisaishi Jō. (我听过久石譲的作品.) I have never heard my father's voice. (我沒听过我爸爸的声音.)

However, the translation into perfect tense may be questionable. For example, you listen to Hisaishi's music very often, but last week you did not listen(上星期沒听过), and last month you listened to it twice only(上个月只听过两次). The use of 过 is an emphasis of the experience (or lack of it) of the action. It is not directly related to a perfect tense in English.

Here I also talk about another aspect. 了 is the actual aspect marker. It makes an assertion that something is actually done, without emphasizing any experience (or lack of it). It does not appear in any negative form because negation and actuality are incompatible. After you have listened to Hisaishi's music, you can say 听了 or 听过. The first choice emphasizes that the act of listening did really happen, but the second choice emphasizes that you have got the experience of listening.

If I ask by saying '他听过沒听过?', I ask whether he has the experience of listening (to some thing). But if I ask by saying '他听了沒听?', I ask whether the state of his listening (to some thing) has been made true by his action of doing so

听说 is a compound. It is formed by two verbal parts: listen-say. I suggest that this compound is a contraction of 听某人说(hear that somebody say). If Putin 听说 that North Korea has nuclear weapons, it literally means that he has heard somebody say so, but he is not the one to witness it, because he just heard it from other mouths. I suggest that 听说 can sometimes be translated as "it's said that". When the subject of 听说 is the first person. When the subject is the third person, it can be translated as "He heard that".

  • +1 for this answer. Not sure why the OP marks this as accepted...
    – Blaszard
    Nov 14, 2014 at 5:08

听到、means listenING (present progressive tense). 听过 means listenED or heard (past tense) and 听说 means listening to SPEECH (说), as opposed to sound.


聽到 聽過 聽說 are kind of hard to have a simple translation.

聽說 should be the easiest one here: it means "heard someone talked about something".

聽到 you can simply treat it as "hear" in English. It is not necessary to relate to tense. e.g.
剛才你有沒有聽到怪聲?: Have you heard any weird sound (some time before)?
我聽到怪聲: I hear weird sound.

聽過 is a bit more complicated. First thing you need to understand is, in Chinese , 聽 can mean Listen or Hear. 過 in 聽過 means it is something that happened in the past and is finished. In brief you can translate it to "have listened to" or "have heard of", depending in context. e.g.

我聽過這演講 I have listened to this speech
我聽過這怪聲 I have heard of this weird sound





  • 听到(听见) 水 烧开了 的 声音 吗?(Can you hear water boiling?)

  • 没听到(没听见)。(No.)


  • 你 他妈的 到底 听见 了 没有 (=听不听得见)! (What the f**k can you hear me or not on earth!) (=Why are you keeping ignoring me?/ You'd better keep that f**king well in mind.)

  • 听得见嘛。 (Obviously I can = =.) (=I am not./Yes I will.)

听到(听见)=听+到(见). You should have learned that, when we describe the state that we can hear the thing, we say 听得到(听得见). The logic here is the verb itself + the character corresponding to its consequence. As a result, the proper English word for it is to (can) hear.



  • 听过 中二病 吗?(Have you ever heard of chuu-ni syndrome?)

  • 没听过。 (Never ever.)


  • 听过 京剧 吗? (Have you ever listened to Peking Opera?)

  • 没听过。 (Never ever.)

听过 is simply the past form of 听. Note that either hear or listen can fit the translation here.



  • 听说 明天 要 降温 吗? (Have you heard people say that tomorrow's temp is going down?)

  • 没听说。 (Not yet.)


  • 听说 从前的 中国人 人人 都 会 武术。 (I hear somebody say that every ancient Chinese people could play martial art.)

  • 听说 的? (Hear-say? Hearing whom saying that?)

eg3 (in comparison with eg1 in the 2nd part.)

  • 听说过 中二病 吗?(Have you ever heard of the saying "chuu-ni syndrome"?)

  • 没听说过。 (Never ever.)

From the examples you can see that 听说 is the combination of hear and say. It could be to hear somebody say or to hear a saying. The liaison between the 2 characters are not so important. And so, from time to time you can hear people say "听人说" in place of "听说". (Try translate the last sentence. :D)

  • 听到[tīng dào] listen in; meet the ear; hear; notice:
    • get wind of 听到风声
  • 听过[tīng guò] means you have heard
    • Yes, I have heard your explanation before, Maestro. 是的,大师,我以前听过你的解释。
  • 听说[tīng shuō] be told; hear of:
    • I have heard that he has been married before. 我听说他过去结过婚。
    • This is only hearsay.; It's nothing but hearsay. 这只不过是听说而已。

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