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I am almost sure what will be the answer to this question, but still wanted to ask it anyways.

Can you use "hear back from sb" in a sentence? Let's say something like:

We have not heard back from you regarding ...

or should it be just:

We have not heard from you regarding ...

I checked a few dictionary sources but I couldn't find "hear back": http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/hear http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hear

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2 Answers 2

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Both are OK, but they have slightly different meanings. In the case of heard back from, there is the implication that the speaker had spoken/written to the person already, and was expecting a response. In the case of heard from, it simply means that the speaker was expecting a call from the person, not necessarily that there had been an earlier communication to which they were expecting a response.

So heard back from is somewhat more restrictive.

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The back means "in response to a previous communication". The Ngram viewer finds a use from US News & World Report from 1955, so people have been hearing back from others for some time now.

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  • Am I going to hear back from you anytime soon? :-) Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 20:25
  • @RichardKayser You will. (in Batman voice)
    – NVZ
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 20:32
  • @NVZ You're quite the movie aficionado. :-) Thanks for the "omnivorous comment". I was trying to snatch a few SE moments on my iPhone and misfired. Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 21:36

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