The word “HEAR” indicates that sounds enter your ears whether you want them to or not, whereas “LISTEN” indicates that you are aware of what you hear.
HEAR (Without effort) – No effort is required for a sound/noise to enter your ear.
- There was thunder last night, didn’t you hear it?
- Can you hear me?
Listen (With effort) – You are listening when you pay attention and try to listen to sounds.
- I tried to listen but I couldn’t hear anything.
- You’d better listen to your teacher if you want to stay out of trouble.