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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.

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  • 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. Nov 10 '19 at 0:37
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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.

or:

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

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  • What about "I keep hearing about ..."? That is idiomatic, right?
    – AIQ
    Nov 10 '19 at 0:07
  • Yes, indeed it is. Nov 10 '19 at 10:35

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