Ask and ask for - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionaries Online Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Ask and ask for

from English Grammar Today

Ask

Ask is a verb meaning ‘put a question or seek an answer from someone’:

Can I ask you a question?

He asked me what age I was.

‘How are you?’ she asked.

Ask + to-infinitive

We can use ask with the to-infinitive to talk about requesting something:

She asked to see Professor Fenton. (ask + to-infinitive)

We asked the City Council to help us organise a sports day. (ask + object + to-infinitive).

Ask for

If you ask for something, it means that you want someone to give you something:

I always ask for extra tomato sauce on my pizza.

They asked their boss for more money, but he refused.

Warning:

Don’t confuse ask for and demand. Demand means ‘ask for something forcefully’, in a way that shows we are not expecting a refusal:

We are writing to ask for your help in finding suitable accommodation in New Haven.

Not: We are writing to demand

Ask and ask for: typical error

  • We use for when we request someone to give us something:

I called them to ask for more details.

Not: I called them to ask more details.

(“Ask and ask for” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press.)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
by ,
May 25, 2016
by Liz Walter Enough is a very common word, but it is easy to make mistakes with it. You need to be careful about its position in a sentence, and the prepositions or verb patterns that come after it. I’ll start with the position of enough in the sentence. When we use it with a noun,

Read More 

Word of the Day

ultraviolet

Ultraviolet light has a wavelength that is after the violet (= light purple) end of the range of colours that can be seen by humans. Light of this type causes the skin to become darker in the sun.

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More