Entendre dire

Essential French Expression

Entendre dire
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Meaning to hear
Literally to hear said
Register normal
Pronunciation [a(n) ta(n) dreu deer]
IPA   [ã tã drə diʀ]

Usage notes: The French expression entendre dire is used to report something you heard about. It’s followed by the subordinating conjunction que plus a clause, or else used with a direct object pronoun or relative pronoun replacing a clause.

Par exemple…

J’ai entendu dire que le nouveau resto n’est pas très bon.   I heard the new restaurant isn’t very good.
On entend dire que …   Rumor has it that …
C’est peut-être exagéré ; je l’ai entendu dire dans un bar.   It might be exaggerated; I heard it in a bar.
Nous sommes heureux de l’entendre dire.   We’re happy to hear that.
D’après ce que j’ai entendu dire …   From what I’ve heard, By all accounts …

Entendre dire vs entendre parler

The meaning of these two expressions is very similar, but they are not interchangeable. Which one to use depends on the grammar and sentence construction that follows:

  1. Entendre dire + subordinating conjunction que + clause
  2. Entendre parler + preposition de + noun

  En comparaison…

J’ai entendu dire que l’IPO aura lieu la semaine prochaine.  
vs  
 
I heard that the IPO will take place next week.
J’ai entendu parler d’un IPO la semaine prochaine. I heard about an IPO next week.
     
J’ai entendu dire que tu vas déménager au Québec.  
vs  
 
I heard that you’re going to move to Québec, Someone told me that you’re …
J’ai entendu parler de ton déménagement au Québec.

I heard about your move to Québec.

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2 Responses

  1. Kathy Hines 18 June 2014 / 20:16

    Est ce que vous pouvez encore dire “J’ai entendu que” ainsi “j’ai entendu dire que”? C’est quoi la difference?
    Merci, Kathy H

    • lkl 22 June 2014 / 7:19

      No, ce n’est pas la même chose.

      Entendre que sera normalement suivi d’un bruit : J’entends que tu chantes – I hear you singing.

      Entendre que peut aussi vouloir dire “to understand.”