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聞くmeans ask and/or listen?


10 Nov 2003
Can anyone enlighten me on this. I asked my Japanese friend before and he told me for ask, you use "尋ねる". However, I have seen 聞くas asking numerous times. Or are my eyes playing trick on me?
tazuneru has the nuance of searching or verifying or finding out. If you check the kokugo dictionary, they give 3 meanings:

1) Search for the whereabouts of a thing or person
2) Seek the truth
3) Ask about something you don't understand; ask a question

I most frequently hear this when somebody is asking for information over the phone ("Excuse me, I would like to ask ...")
Thank you @mdchachi and @Elizabeth ... I have another question. kiku itself has 2 forms, 聞くand 聴く. From what I understand, 聴く is only used for listening to music, lesson where as 聞くis for other forms of listening. Is this sufficient?
No, the difference isn't music vs. other sounds....聴く(also commonly seen in it's noun form as chou in combination with other kanji) is more like "hear" or "hearing" in an auditory sense. There is a subtext of listening closely or paying attention such as 聴き取り, but I still think 聞き取り is more natural in this case. Maybe this is the sense in which it is used with music, I'm not sure.
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