May be it's a trivial question but I am not sure if it is right to say:

I am an ardent listener to your podcast


I am an ardent listener of your podcast.

The verb listen has the preposition to. But does this rule function in the case of the noun?

  • This is a good question. I think we're getting tripped up by the fact that we listen to something, but that's a red herring: in this sentence, I am not listening, I just am. If we use a different verb, like read and a different noun, like reader, the answer becomes much clearer: I'm a reader of books. – stangdon Feb 6 '15 at 18:34

No, this rule doesn't apply to the noun.

Preps are used to "link" elements of a sentence. You are an ardent listener in relation to that podcast. So you get statements like these:

I am an ardent listener of your podcast.

I'm a big fan of trailer music.

I'm a curious follower of theism.

And so on.

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Maybe you find this example interesting:

"We've received a lot of complaints about the changes from regular listeners to the programme."

Cambridge Advanced Learner's

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Here's an example of the "of" choice:

Though Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host unfolds on Barnes’ territory, the stage, its three-act narrative structure is familiar to listeners of This American Life.

This American Life is a radio program and a podcast, well known in the U.S.

To my U.S. ear, "of" sounds right. On the other hand, the Cambridge Advanced Learner's example would feel right to me when listening to a BBC podcast.

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Technically, you can listen to a sound, but you cannot really be a listener to sound. You have to be a listener of sound.

Listen is a verb describing an action, so it can be targeted or aimed toward an object. To is the preposition that expresses that.

Listener is a noun describing an instance of a type of person - "one who listens" (this is what the -er suffix means). So it can be the object of a verb or preposition, but it cannot really directly have an object.

Also, using to X in the manner like listener to sound means according to X and X can be a concrete person or abstract noun.

I am a good person to Jane = I am a good person according to Jane.

I am an enemy to uncleanliness = I am an enemy according to uncleanliness.

I am a listener to your podcast = I am a listener according to your podcast.

But since the example is "listener" and "podcast" - and "podcast" is obviously something someone listens to, it's likely to be something that is not noticed or misunderstood.

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IMO they both can be used with a slightly different meaning:

I’m a listener of your podcast.

Implies the understanding of the possessiveness by using the preposition of, that is I’m a listener of the music that belongs to your podcast, while

I’m a listener to your podcast.

Implies the direction by using the preposition to, that is I’m a listener of the music that is broadcasted from your podcast.

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  • "I’m a listener of your podcast." also has a meaning that you listen to the podcast on a regular basis, as in "I’m a fan of your podcast. – user3169 Feb 6 '15 at 18:31
  • @user3169, thanks a lot for your input! As a native, that you confirm the use of “to the podcast” is very valuable for me. – Lucian Sava Feb 9 '15 at 13:18

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