keep an ear to the ground

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keep an ear to the ground

 and have an ear to the ground; keep one's ear to the ground; have one's ear to the ground
Fig. to devote attention to watching or listening for clues as to what is going to happen. John had his ear to the ground, hoping to find out about new ideas in computers. His boss told him to keep his ear to the ground so that he'd be the first to know of a new idea.
See also: ear, ground, keep