I wonder how I should reply if someone said something to me, and I haven't made out some words. I fluctuate between these two options:

  1. I'm sorry. I haven't heard what you've just said.
  2. I'm sorry. I didn't hear what you said.

The first answer seems more grammatically correct. However, the second answer sounds better to me, and I'd use it in a real conversation. Or probably both of them are fine?

2 Answers 2


The second is the correct one. You would use I haven't heard of an item of news that you might be expected to know about, not of something the other person just said.

"Do you know who won the tournament? I haven't heard the results yet."

  • Thank you! Now, it's clear for me.
    – Bonrey
    Jun 27, 2020 at 17:42

The past perfect -- "haven't heard" -- means it's extended over time. For instance, if you were in seclusion for the last year, you could say that you haven't heard of COVID-19.

The simple past -- "didn't hear" -- means that it was specific instance of not hearing. For instance, if you were just told about COVID-19, and too stunned to listen as the person talked on, you could say that you didn't hear what he said after that.

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