hacer caso vs prestar atención

hacer caso vs prestar atención


Hacer caso y prestar atención both mean "to pay attention to..." So, when would one use one phrase as opposed to the other?

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by Victoria-Peters

2 Answers


When you "pay attention" (prestar atención) you ensure that you hear what is being said ("you lend your ears"). When you "heed what someone says" (hacer caso) you actually behave in accordance with what he says/said ("you take his advice").

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by samdie
Thanks! That makes sense to me. - Victoria-Peters, NOV 30, 2009

In my opinion, this is one of those instances in which either usage would convey proper meaning. As in English, there are many ways of saying the same thing. I would certainly accept a correction on this, however.

updated NOV 30, 2009
posted by 002262dd
This is not a correction, but my understanding (and possible advice is) you use "prestar atención" in a formal setting, possibly even giving a command. Sound right everyone? - DJ_Huero, NOV 30, 2009
Of course my teacher in high school would tell me, "¡pagas atención!" - DJ_Huero, NOV 30, 2009
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.