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Special Verbs: ascoltare, sentire, and sentirci

As in English, there are a number of different expressions in Italian which have to do with the act of hearing of or about something. Following is a list of common expressions which deal with hearing, both literally and figuratively.

  1. sentire qualcosa/qualcuno --> to hear something/someone / to hear from someone / to talk to someone
    Senti cosa dice Angela?
    Do you hear what Angela is saying?

    Hai sentito tua sorella ultimamente?
    Have you heard from your sister lately?

    Ho sentito dei rumori durante la notte.
    I heard some noises during the night.

    NB: The verb udire also means to hear something/someone. It is an older form and is less commonly used on its own, though you will see it used in literature and may come across it in conversation in some parts of Italy, as well as in some expressions (udire per caso, for example, which means to overhear).

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