Some verbs in English require certain prepositions after them.

Listen is one of the most common of these verbs!

Listen is almost always followed by to:

I like to listen to music.

Listen to your mother.

However, there are some idiomatic uses of listen which use different prepositions such as listen for (waiting for a particular sound) and listen in on (to listen secretly):

Please listen for the doorbell; I’m expecting a package.

The children were listening in on their parents’ argument.

Unfortunately, there are no set rules for which prepositions go with which verbs. They need to be memorized. Here is a list of “Verbs and their prepositions.” I have also found that the online Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is one of the few online dictionaries that lists what prepositions a verb takes.

Good luck and be sure to listen to what your teacher says.

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