A girl said that she had learnt a chapter and wanted to speak it out to actually find out how she's actually learnt. So the teacher tells another girl to listen to the chapter.

So she says:

Hear the chapter from her.

I know it dosen't sound natural, but what is the natural way to describe it?

And what will be a natural way to express this idea: speaking something out so that other person can listen to it, like a teacher asks a child to speak out a particular answer that he or she has learnt to find out whether she's or he's actually been able to learn it?

  • [What is a natural way to express this idea. General statement, not a future one]
    – Lambie
    Mar 27, 2019 at 21:20

3 Answers 3


You have the answer in your question. You should ask the second girl to:

Listen to her (recite the chapter)

"Hearing" suggest a passive state, often combined with "can":

I can hear the train coming, but I can't see it.

"Listening" is actively paying attention:

Listen to the story and watch the performance.

Also "speak out" is not used properly. The phrase "speak out" means to "confidently express an opinion":

I spoke out when my boss told us to do unpaid overtime. Nobody else was willing to stand up to her.

Perhaps you want the child to "repeat the question that they have learnt", or "give an answer to the question." You could also say "Tell me the answer" or "Answer the question"

However, not much actual teaching involves learning answers to particular questions.


When you learn things by heart, as apparently the student in the OP's question did, a teacher might ask the student to recite it.

Poems, for instance, are recited by people.

"Listen to her recite the chapter."

In teaching, this would a request for a student to do "active listening".

Listen as you would to music, a movie, to a person speaking. You might hear them but were you listening?

Listening implies you are using your brain in making an effort to understand. Hearing is what happens when you're not deaf but does not guarantee you are listening.

Do you listen to your mother's advice or do you just hear it?

  • 1
    Lambie - "Hearing is what happens when you're not deaf but does not guarantee you are listening." it does for certain meanings of 'hear', especially in a formal, legal, thetraical or educational setting. Mar 27, 2019 at 21:30
  • There is nothing in my answer that is in contradiction with yours.
    – Lambie
    Mar 28, 2019 at 13:11

You can actively hear something from a person, especially in a learning situation. I can ask my teacher, or my friend, or someone I work with, to hear me play the piano, my recital of a poem, my speech, etc.

hear verb (LISTEN) ​ A2 [ T ] to listen to someone or something with great attention or officially in court

EWE jokes about meeting the Pope: "I asked him to hear my confession. He declined. He said he'd only be in town three days."

I asked him to hear my side of the story.

I asked him to hear my complaints about Paul

He had long before told him about me and had asked him to hear me play. But Beethoven had aversions against prodigies.

A nationally known organist came to town to play a recital and my parents asked him to hear me play.

'I asked him to hear me sing,” says the fair contralto, “and see what he could do with my voice.”

Hear (Cambridge Dictionary)

  • So "hear the chapter from her" sounds natural as well?? Mar 27, 2019 at 20:43
  • Yes, it sounds natural. Mar 27, 2019 at 20:52
  • @MichaelH - I don't know if it's a regional thing, but I wouldn't use the word hear like that, and the OP's sentence sounds decidedly off to me. There are a few ways it could be restructured, though, and sound more natural (for example, in a question: Would you like to hear her read the chapter?)
    – J.R.
    Mar 27, 2019 at 21:20
  • It is common in British educational use, when someone has to recite or otherwise orally deliver something, could be a speech, a reading, etc. Mar 27, 2019 at 21:28

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