What is the difference in meaning between the following sentences?

I hear about the issue more and more these days.

I am hearing about the issue more and more these days.

Many will say that it is incorrect to use the word hear in the progressive aspect, but I have heard English native speakers use.

  • If hear about X is used in the progressive, it refers to successive events of hearing about some one thing; in other words, it's generic. And so is the non-progressive use. Which one is used is the speaker's choice; there's no difference in meaning in this sentence, and both are grammatical. Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


The two tenses are used in different contexts.

I hear.... is used either in the sense of people are saying that or talking about, as in your first example.

People also say I hear you, meaning that I've taken note of what you are saying.

They might also say I hear something upstairs although it's more likely to be I can hear something upstairs.

Your second example is NOT idiomatic. But you may well hear native English speakers use it in contexts which refer to the present situation, for example:

Question: What's the matter?
Answer: I am hearing a strange noise.


There's a problem with my hearing aid and I'm not hearing you very well.

  • What about "I keep hearing about ..."? That is idiomatic, right?
    – AIQ
    Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 0:07
  • Yes, indeed it is. Commented Nov 10, 2019 at 10:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .