Be All Ears Meaning
To be all ears is an informal idiom, meaning ready to listen, or giving their full attention.
You usually use all ears when the person is very interested in what you are saying or is ready to give you their full attention.
All Ears Example Sentences
When someone is ready to give you their full attention:
- Let me just finish tidying the table and I’ll be all ears.
- I’m really sorry but I’m very busy today. Call me tomorrow and I promise I’ll be all ears.
- The baby’s crying so I can’t hear you, but let me just see if I can put it to sleep and I’ll be all ears.
When someone is listening carefully / eagerly:
- He was all ears as she told him the plans she’d been making for their holiday.
- I’m all ears – tell me all about your date!!
- Her friends were all ears as they gathered around her, waiting for her to spill the beans.
- I’m always all ears when it comes to listening to you!
- Tell me about your day. I’m all ears.
Used sarcastically, when someone isn’t actually interested in what you’re saying:
- Are you listening to me? Yes, I’m all ears.
- You weren’t listening to me yesterday, were you? What are you talking about? I was all ears.
All Ears Synonyms
When someone is ready to give you their full attention
- To be paying attention
- To be listening intently
- To be giving you their undivided attention
When someone is listening carefully / eagerly
- To hang onto every word
- To be attentive
- To be intent on
- To concentrate
Other Idioms with Ears
To fall on deaf ears
To be ignored / not listened to
- I told them this would happen, but every time I warn them something bad will happen, it falls on deaf ears.
- My advice must have fallen on deaf ears yesterday – they haven’t followed any of it!
To be music to [someone’s] ears
Something the person is pleased to hear about
- The praise for her new book was music to her ears.
- The new yearly figures came in, and they were music to his ears.
To play it by ear
To deal with a situation as it happens / see how it goes
- I don’t know how Grandma will react to the news, so we’ll just play it by ear.
- We don’t have plans for the holidays so I think we’ll just play it by ear.
To grin from ear to ear
To smile a lot / look very happy
- He walked in grinning from ear to ear, ready to give her the good news.
- When she saw the present under the tree her eyes lit up and she grinned from ear to ear.
To keep an ear to the ground
To be attentive to a situation / to listen for any news
- I’ll keep an ear to the ground to see if I hear anything about the new case.
- I don’t know what’s going on with grandma and grandpa so I’ll keep an ear to the ground to see if I hear anything.
To lend an ear
To listen to someone with sympathy – similar to ‘lend a shoulder to cry on’ – lend an ear to listen
- If you ever need someone to talk to I’m more than happy to lend an ear.
- I’m lucky my mum’s always there to lend a sympathetic ear when I need to talk to someone.
To be out on your ear
To be thrown out – often of a workplace or home
- If you don’t start working properly you’ll be out on your ear before you know it!
- I should have tried harder to help out around the house. I didn’t do anything so I was out on my ear as soon as I turned 18.
To have [something] coming out of your ears
To have a lot of something
- It’s apple picking season so we’ve been out in the fields and I’ve got apples coming out of my ears!
- I’ve been studying French all morning so I’ve got verbs coming out of my ears!
I can’t believe my ears!
To be surprised / shocked by something you hear. Similar to ‘I can’t believe my eyes’ – being surprised by something you see.
- Did you just thank me for something?! I can’t believe my ears!
- You got a job?! I can’t believe my ears!
To go in one ear and out the other
To not remember something / not listen
- I have to write everything down because if I tell them it’s in one ear and out the other.
- It’s always the same with you. In one ear and out the other.
To make a pig’s ear of it
To do a very bad job of something / to ruin something completely
- I always make a pig’s ear of apple pie. I don’t know why I keep trying.
- I’ll let you do it yourself, but only if you promise not to make a pig’s ear of it.
To talk [someone’s] ear(s) off
To talk a lot without stopping, often about a particular subject. Used negatively.
- Whenever I see her she talks my ears off about the job market.
- Why were you so long at the shops? I met Mrs. Parler and she talked my ears off for over half an hour, I couldn’t get away!