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How to use “Hear hear” and “Here here” in a sentence

During the debate, it is common to hear a member/s of parliament shout, “Hear him, hear him,” to draw the attention of members to a point made by another member during their sittings.

Kimberly Ann Potts
Kimberly Ann Potts

Hear hear: origin, meaning, and examples

Origin

The original phrase was “hear him, hear him,” and it was used by the United Kingdom Parliamentarians in the late seventeenth century in a debate. During the debate, it is common to hear a member/s of parliament shout, “Hear him, hear him,” to draw the attention of members to a point made by another member during their sittings.

It is probably worth noting why the original phrase contains “him” and not “her”? The reason is that, as when the phrase was used in full form, there were no females in the UK Parliament. The first female member of parliament would come in the twentieth century. However, by that time, the phrase had already been shortened to “hear hear.”

Meaning and examples

“Hear hear” is a phrase used to draw attention to a particular point, show agreement to a point made by another person, or cheer someone at the end of a toast. Examples include:

“Hear hear!” Laura shouted to draw the rowdy crowd’s attention at the rally.
At the end of the class president’s brilliant speech, members of the class cheered, “hear hear!”
“May you live for as long as you want and never want for as long as you live,” Abbot said as he raised his glass. “Hear hear,” the other guests responded.

Here here: origin, meaning, and examples

Origin

Though it is now common, “here here” is a misspelling that recently gained popularity. It is now very common such that it may actually eclipse the original phrase “hear hear.”

Meaning and examples

Technically, the phrase originated from a mistake and has no meaning in this context. However, it is grammatically correct if you use “Here here!” when responding to questions like “who wants some Ice-cream?” In this context, it will sound like a “me, me!”

Why both phrases are easy to confuse

The confusion that resulted in the acceptance of “here here” even though it is a misspelling occurred due to “hear” and “here” being homophones­. Homophones are two or more words with the same pronunciation but different spellings or meanings.

Oftentimes, people make this mistake. If at the end of a toast you shout “here here!” instead of “hear hear!” no one would notice. However, in writing, you cannot get away with such a grammatical error.Are you still confused? If yes, add “him” to both the “hear” and “here” phrases and check the phrase that seems grammatically correct. Obviously, “Here him, here him” looks odd. By now, we know whether to use here here or hear hear when you raise your glass to a speech you agree with.

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Kimberly Ann Potts

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