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raymondaliasapollyon
Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2021 9:52:15 AM
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Joined: 7/14/2020
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Hi,

Can "hear a story" be used in the progressive?

John was hearing the story when I called him.

I'd appreciate yuor help.
tautophile
Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2021 11:08:17 AM
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Yes, you can say "John was hearing a story when I called him", but the sentence sounds a little odd. You might prefer to say "John was listening to a story..." instead.
raymondaliasapollyon
Posted: Friday, February 12, 2021 10:50:37 PM
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Joined: 7/14/2020
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Thank you. Does the following sound odd?

Hearing the story, John started a bit.
FounDit
Posted: Friday, February 12, 2021 11:52:53 PM

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raymondaliasapollyon wrote:
Thank you. Does the following sound odd?

Hearing the story, John started a bit.


Yes, it does sound a bit odd. Usually, when someone is startled, or "starts" a bit, it's because something happens to surprise, or frighten them, such as a very loud noise. Hearing a story wouldn't likely qualify for that.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2021 1:58:59 AM

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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
FounDit wrote:
raymondaliasapollyon wrote:
Thank you. Does the following sound odd?

Hearing the story, John started a bit.


Yes, it does sound a bit odd. Usually, when someone is startled, or "starts" a bit, it's because something happens to surprise, or frighten them, such as a very loud noise. Hearing a story wouldn't likely qualify for that.


It’s not actually wrong though it could be correct in the right context.

The girl described the man who got her mother pregnant while she was at high school but took no responsibility for his child and left them to fend for themselves.
Hearing the story, John started a bit.
He realised that this girl was his daughter.

If the story that a person is listening to has enough of an emotional impact then they might become startled by the story.
raymondaliasapollyon
Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2021 3:29:48 AM
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Joined: 7/14/2020
Posts: 505
Neurons: 2,949
Thank you.

How does "Hearing the story, John started a bit" differ from "Listening to the story, John started a bit?
thar
Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2021 4:28:43 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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There is a difference there between hearing and listening, (and between 'a story' and 'the story' in these examples).

'A story is a tale, a bedtime story you tell your children.

'the story', in Sarries' example, is 'the account of what had happened, the gossip'. It has to refer to something that is also explained in detail. The you can refer to that piece of information they are being given as 'the story'.


In general
For a tale, a piece of fiction:
someone tells you a story
you listen to a story


for when a story means news, an account of what has happened:
you hear the story somewhere


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