During my learning process of Russian language, i use my poor English skills to compare these two languages. Could you please tell me which verb group(imperfective and perfective) in the question title is the verb to listen in English? If both of them too(because translator shows up to listen for both of those verb groups) so what is the difference?

1 Answer 1


Most likely, when listening to a live person or live TV/radio, you want forms of "слушать": "я сл'ушаю", "ты меня сл'ушаешь?" "сл'ушай!"

Listening to a recording, podcast (but not to live broadcast) - "просл'ушать", "просл'ушивать". "Я просл'ушал з'апись л'екции"

Посл'ушать - the main meaning is past/perfect or imperative of "слушать" : "посл'ушай меня", "послушай эту музыку" (again, if this is about a recording, use "прослушай" instead). "Я послушал это, но не понял". There are other, less frequent meanings of all these forms, for example "прослушивать" means also eavesdropping. "Слушать" also can mean to obey, comply to smb. But I'll stop now. Good luck.

  • thank you very much! your comment really helps! but what about listening a MP3 music on my phone? it's also a recording too but i think and heard like ppl around of me use слушать? am i wrong? Feb 24, 2016 at 16:00
  • >but what about listening a MP3 music on my phone? -- if you listen to mp3 like to the radio, then слушать is ok, If you act more actively on it, like forwarding/rewinding/skipping then прослушивать. Use слушать anytime when unsure.
    – ddbug
    Feb 24, 2016 at 16:06
  • @V.V. Слушайте маму, надевайте тёплые кальсоны. Слушайте, когда вам дело говорят.
    – ddbug
    Feb 24, 2016 at 16:15
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    I'd add that послушать is mostly used if you listen to something for relatively short time, or if you are just giving a try to listening something. And прослушать is used when you listen something from start to end (e.g. я прослушал пять лекций по физике и ничего не понял). Also about eavesdropping. прослушать in meaning of eavesdropping is only used when you use some gadgets, plant microphones, etc. Mostly when it's about police (FBI, КГБ, ФСБ, etc.). If you just listen through a door, it would be "подслушивать"
    – Alissa
    Feb 24, 2016 at 16:48
  • @Alissa : I wrote "прослушивать", not "прослушать". The noun is прослушка. Этот телефон прослушИВАется. Товарищ майор организовал прослушку.
    – ddbug
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:02

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