Hear Me Now! 15 Productive Ways To Say ‘Listen’ in Spanish
Escucha is “listen” in Spanish, and as you can expect, there are many ways to call for someone’s attention in this extensive language.
Join me as I explore 15 different and productive ways to say “listen” in Spanish. I will also include 7 more phrases you can use to demonstrate active listening in your Spanish speech.
Listen in Spanish
As in every other language, there are different ways to get someone’s attention according to the setting and context. Imagine sharing a table in a Latin household—you could get the attention of your friend sitting on the other end by loudly asking him, ¡pásame el picante! (pass me the hot sauce), for example.
Check out this interesting article on Escuchar vs Oír: What’s the Difference Between These Two Spanish Verbs?
Here is a quick guide to the simple conjugation of escuchar in Spanish.
Conjugation of Escuchar – Simple Present
|I listen||yo escucho|
|you listen||tú escuchas, vos escuchás|
|he, she listens||él, ella, usted escucha|
|we listen||nosotros escuchamos|
|you listen||vosotros escucháis, ustedes escuchan|
|they listen||ellos o ellas escuchan|
Remember that in Spanish, using the subject is completely optional since we have different conjugations for every person (except ustedes and ellos). Omitting the subject actually makes you sound more like a native.
Conjugation of Escuchar – Simple Past
|I listened||yo escuché|
|you listened||tú, vos escuchaste|
|he, she, you (formal) listened||él, ella, usted escuchó|
|we listened||nosotros escuchamos|
|you listened||vosotros escuchasteis, ustedes escucharon|
|they listened||ellos o ellas escucharon|
Conjugation of Escuchar – Simple Future
|I will listen||yo escucharé|
|you will listen||tú, vos escucharás|
|he, she, you (formal) will listen||él o ella escuchará|
|we will listen||nosotros escucharemos|
|you will listen||vosotros escucharéis, ustedes escucharán|
|they will listen||ellos o ellas escucharán|
Conjugation of Escuchar – Imperative (or Commands)
|you listen!||tú escucha, vos escuchá|
|he, she, you (formal) listen!||él, ella, usted escuche|
|we listen!||nosotros escuchemos|
|you listen!||vosotros escuchad, ustedes escuchen|
|they listen!||ellos o ellas escuchen|
PRO TIP! Check this out if you’d like to get more familiarized with the imperative mood.
15 Ways To Say “Listen” in Spanish
Here are 15 different and productive ways to say “listen” in Spanish.
Let’s start off with the most basic command of them all, escucha. When you’re talking to anyone and you want to call their attention a little bit more because the next thing you’re about to say is especially important just say escucha or escuche (if you’re talking to an older person or using the formal you).
Imagine you’re talking to a friend about who’s the best baseball player ever. He’s saying Babe Ruth and you’re saying Willie Mays.
The conversation goes like this:
—Babe Ruth es el mejor beisbolista del siglo, lo dice la AP.
—Es cierto lo de la AP, pero escucha…
—Babe Ruth is the best baseball player of the century, the AP says so.
—The fact about the AP is true, but listen…
So, what’s the difference between escucha and escúchame? By adding an indirect object to the verb we give more emphasis to it, therefore, the person listening to us should pay a bit more attention.
Picture a situation where a toddler is throwing a tantrum and his mother wants to calm him down, she would say something like:
Escúchame, mi amor, calma.
Listen to me, my love, (be) calm.
3. ¡Oye tú!
In this case, we’re focusing on the verb oír which literally means “to hear” but it works just as well to call somebody’s attention.
Imagine that you’re walking down the street and you see a guy wearing your favorite team’s shirt, but he’s not close, you’d yell something like:
¡Oye tú! ¡El de la camiseta de los Saints…!
Hey you, the one in the Saints shirt…!
PRO TIP! The verbs escuchar and oír might be interchangeable in some situations, but they don’t work like that all the time.
The word atención literally means attention and Spanish speakers can interpret it like an imperative, without it being a verb. You can use this word in several situations, a sergeant talking to their soldiers, a team captain talking to their team, or a teacher talking to their students.
If you want to say listen up in Spanish a common phrase you can use to call a lot of people’s attention is:
Listen up, guys!
5. Pon mucha atención
Here we can continue with the word attention. The phrase pon mucha atención means “pay close attention.” The first verb literally means put and not pay. You can change this verb for the verb presta and say presta mucha atención. Both work perfectly.
If you’re explaining a really complicated process or a highly important part of a plan it is convenient to say:
Presta mucha atención a lo que estoy por decir.
Pay close attention to what I’m about to say.
6. Haz caso
Haz caso is an effective way to tell someone to listen and also to obey. Combining it with an indirect object gives it more emphasis and makes it sound much better. If you learn the hacer (to do or to make) conjugation you should be able to call people’s attention in an effective way.
Imagine you’re teaching a little kid’s class and one of them is talking loudly after you told them not to do so, you could say something like this:
Hazme caso y deja de hablar tan alto, por favor.
Listen to me and stop talking so loudly, please.
PRO TIP! Don’t confuse haz with has. The first one is the imperative form (in the second singular person) of the verb hacer, while has is the indicative form of the second person of the verb haber.
7. Toma nota
Another way to say listen in Spanish is toma nota. This literally means “take note” which is something close to pon atención.
If you want to say “listen to the teacher” in Spanish, you can say escucha al maestro.
If you’re the teacher and want to tell your students to pay special attention to something someone said you can say:
Tomen nota de lo que su compañero dijo, vendrá en el examen.
Take note of what your classmate said, it’ll be on the test.
8. Sigan escuchando
We’re back to the verb escuchar because this is truly one of the most effective and best verbs you can use. A lot of radio hosts or podcasts creators use the phrase “stay tuned,” and how do you say that in Spanish? Sigue (o sigan) escuchando.
If you want to start a podcast or channel on YouTube and would like to create a community that keeps enjoying your content, you can say something like:
Sigan escuchando que la próxima semana volveremos con más.
Stay tuned, because next week we’ll be back with more.
The word fijate is not very compatible with the English language, but it comes from the verb fijar (to set). While we use this word to call someone’s attention visually, you can also use it to call someone’s attention in a listening-kind-of-way.
Fíjate en cómo le dijo que lo amaba, no me convence.
Notice how she told him she loved him, it doesn’t convince me.
FUN FACT! If you hear a Guatemalan saying the phrase fíjese que… you might as well prepare to hear an excuse. People use that phrase to soften a negative response.
The verb enterar means to find out in Spanish. We tend to use this verb a lot when we gossip around, but journalists can also call your attention by saying:
Entérese de las últimas noticias aquí.
Find out about the latest news here.
PRO TIP! Don’t confuse enterar (to find out) and enterrar (to bury), one letter can make all the difference.
11. Presta oído
Presta oído means listen in Spanish slang. This one literally means something like “lend your hearing ability.”
Picture a couple of friends talking about the most recent episode of their favorite show, one of them could tell the other one:
Presta oído a lo que dice ahora.
Pay attention to what she says now.
12. No te distraigas
In this case, we are using a negative imperative to call someone’s attention. We are saying “don’t get distracted” in Spanish.
Imagine that you’re trying to explain something to your 12-year-old kid, he is there, in front of you but he is rolling his eyes and playing with a ball while he pretends to listen, just say:
No te distraigas que te estoy hablando.
Don’t get distracted because I’m talking to you.
The verb atiende means “to serve” or “to take care of” most of the time, but you can also use it to say “listen” in Spanish.
Imagine you’re trying to tell your friend about your new job but he keeps looking at his phone and scrolling down his Instagram feed—before saying ¡qué maleducado! (how rude), try saying:
Atiéndeme, por favor, que te estoy contando algo importante.
Listen to me, please, because I’m telling you something important.
PRO TIP! Sometimes you can hear the phrase atiende el teléfono, which means “pick up the phone” rather than “listen to the phone.”
There’s not much to say about this word since it’s also part of the English language. This can either sound like in English or you can pronounce it like ey.
If your older child is bothering your younger child you can call his attention by saying:
¡Hey! No seas así con tu hermano.
Hey! Don’t act like that to your brother.
Wait, isn’t perdón or perdona saying sorry? Yes, it is, but when we don’t know a person and need to interrupt them to ask for something, we can use this word as an introduction.
Perdona, ¿me puedes decir dónde está esta dirección?
Excuse me, can you tell me where this is?
Seven Ways To Demonstrate Active Listening in Spanish
Active listening is a key factor in any type of conversation, and it is sometimes essential to communicate that you are listening to someone to keep the communication flowing.
As the Dalai Lama says, “When you speak you only repeat what you already know; but when you listen you might learn something new.” (“Cuando hablas solo repites lo que ya sabes; pero cuando escuchas puede que aprendas algo nuevo.”)
In the next section, I will include seven useful ways to communicate that you’re listening actively in Spanish.
1. Te estoy escuchando
This one is the most straightforward. Here you’re saying: “I’m listening (to you).” So if your friend has been talking for 25 minutes on the phone and you haven’t said a word to them and they want to be sure that you’re still there, just say te estoy escuchando.
2. Te oigo fuerte y claro
A pilot, boat captain, or someone who communicates through radio might use this phrase. But you can also use it when there’s been a misunderstanding and you want to assess the situation so that it doesn’t repeat itself. If you want to confirm that you’ve fully understood, just say te oigo fuerte y claro (I hear you loud and clear).
Claro (clear) is something that you can say after every sentence that someone says to you (but be careful because it can get annoying if you say it too much). This word means “yes”. If you want to give it a little bit more power you can say claro que sí which would be saying something like “of course yes”.
Entiendo means “I understand.” We usually use this word in order to express active listening, but unlike claro, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we agree. Saying entiendo can be good for any kind of situation—whether you’re talking to your boss, your mother, or your significant other.
5. Dijiste que…
In this case, we’re adventuring ourselves into the world of reported speech. Repeating what someone just said in your own words is one of the best ways to show active listening.
A simple conversation could go like this:
—Lo encontré riéndose mucho.
—I found him laughing a lot.
—Dijiste que lo encontraste carcajeándose.
—You said you found him laughing a lot.
6. Lo siento mucho
This way of demonstrating active listening is reserved for regrettable situations. You say it when you want to be highly empathetic. When you say lo siento mucho you’re saying “I’m very sorry.”
For example, if a friend’s pet just passed, you can reply by saying:
Lo siento mucho (por lo de tu perrita).
I’m really sorry (about your pup.)
7. Solo para corroborar…
This is another great way to demonstrate active listening. When you say solo para corroborar you’re saying “just to make sure…”
You demonstrate active listening by starting your reply with this phrase.
Solo para corroborar, usted dijo que no quería los vestidos de color rosa, ¿cierto?
Just to make sure, you said that you didn’t want the pink dresses, correct?
Hear Me Now, Learn More Spanish!
Being a listener is one of the best and most generous traits that a human being can have! We all appreciate having somebody listening to us. While listening (and understanding) is great, speaking is too a highly important part.
Sign up for a free Spanish class today and practice your listening and speaking skills with one of our friendly Guatemalan teachers. Listening to someone and replying in their own language is one of the best things you can do.
Just by speaking Spanish, you can interact with 53 million more people in the United States alone—that is without taking into account the other 481 million people who speak Spanish in the rest of the world.
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