"Let's hear it for these ..." Why use "hear" rather than "listen", does that mean the audience do not need to pay much attention?



This is Kid's Box Quiz.

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It sounds like the audio is saying (link with a time stamp corresponds the following)

Let's hear it for these two clever kids in today's big final:

per this post,

Hear means that sounds come into your ears whether you want it or not, while listen means that you consciously pay attention to what you hear, that is you want to hear something: ... – I'm listening, but I can't hear anything. – We heard a terrible noise when the cars crashed in front of our house.


In the case of Kid's Box Quiz, why does the announcer use "hear" rather than "listen", does that mean the audience does not need to pay much attention?


Posted 2020-02-10T13:57:23.677

Reputation: 341

7In the cited context, when the presenter says *Let's = Let us [hear it]*, he effectively means *Let ME [hear loud cheers from YOU the audience].* Obviously the audience themselves will *also* hear their own cheering, so it's not unreasonable to use us / we in this context, and *Let's* is an idiomatically well-established usage anyway. But you will also hear presenters saying things like *Let me hear you [put your hands together] for [our guest]*. But if everyone just *listens*, no-one will *hear* anything anyway. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2020-02-10T14:13:28.353

1@FumbleFingersReinstateMonica Thank you so much. Would you please move your comments to answer? I'll accept it. – peterpanai – 2020-02-10T14:21:43.100

1'It' in this context is the sound of the audience clapping. – Strawberry – 2020-02-11T11:56:03.173

3As an aside, while the difference between "listen" and "hear" is indeed the manner in which someone perceives the noise ("listening at a door" vs "hearing a sudden shout", for example) neither implies a lack of attention. That would be better communicated by the surrounding context. Think of "I hear you loud and clear" or "The jury heard the details with rapt attention", for example. – Lunakshc – 2020-02-11T15:30:37.483



"Let's hear it for..." is an idiomatic way of inviting the audience at a stage show or live television show recording to applaud for somebody. This is particularly common in television when cues for the audience are important for the recording process.

The expression can also be used just to express appreciation for somebody or something - this latter usage has already been addressed in this question and answer.


Posted 2020-02-10T13:57:23.677

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35Basically, the "it" in "let's hear it for..." is "applause". – nick012000 – 2020-02-11T11:42:37.690

5Basically the same as "Let's give a big round of applause for ..." which is shortened to "hear it" since the audience knows it is expected of them to to applaud in a (game)show. – Viktor Mellgren – 2020-02-11T12:57:40.940

8“Let’s hear it for...” is actually an invitation for the audience to express aurally (so it can be heard) how they feel about something. That’s not necessarily applause because it’s not necessarily a presumed positive feeling. Though less common, it can also be used to invite negative reactions such as boos for something widely disliked. I.e., “Let’s hear it for the mayors new tax plan!” – RBarryYoung – 2020-02-11T18:45:56.737

1@RBarryYoung Might be interesting to note that “let's”, while currently pretty idiomatic, is originally a contraction of “let us”. In order to let us hear it, you must make the noise we are to hear. – wizzwizz4 – 2020-02-11T20:39:24.750

I would say it was short for "let us hear your appreciation of" – WendyG – 2020-02-13T15:45:10.493

Related: "hear, hear!" as approbation for a speaker during a debate. "Listen, Listen" wouldn't work (too sibilant, though it has much the same meaning) – nigel222 – 2020-02-13T16:01:23.400


“Let's hear it for [someone]” means “please show your appreciation for [someone]”. Showing appreciation can mean things like clapping, yelling positive words like “Yeah! Go team!”.

It does not at all mean “listen to [someone]”. The people who should make sound are not the [someone] in question. The goal of the sound is mainly to be heard: the louder the sound is, the more appreciation it shows. Even if it involves yelling words, the exact meaning of the words doesn't matter much, so listening is not really important.

In this context of a quiz show with an audience, the host says “let's hear it for [the contestants]”, and this means that the audience should applaud the contestants.

Sometimes this expression can also be used in contexts where the appreciation is shown in a different way. But originally, and most commonly, it's about producing noise.

Gilles 'SO- stop being evil'

Posted 2020-02-10T13:57:23.677

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