bitten/fragen

Sarcy93

Member
English
Hello,

I have reason to believe that one can use 'bitten' and 'fragen' in German to express 'to ask.' Could anyone tell me if there is any difference between the two? Which is used more often?

Additionally, could anyone confirm that the past participle of 'bitten' is 'gebitten?'

Zum Beispiel:

Ich habe meine Freundin gebitten, dorthinzugehen.
 
  • BezierCurve

    Senior Member
    I'd say that "fragen" refers to asking questions, while "bitten" means you ask for permission / to get / to borrow something from someone. But wait for the natives to be 100% sure.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Fragen is to ask in order to get to know something as in "May I ask you a question?"
    Bitten is to ask in order to obtain something or to get something done as in "May I ask you a favour?"

    If you speak Italian, it is the same difference as between domandare and chiedere.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I'd say that "fragen" refers to asking questions, while "bitten" means you ask for permission / to get / to borrow something from someone. But wait for the natives to be 100% sure.

    If you ask for permission you will, of course, also use bitten.
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    If you speak Italian, it is the same difference as between domandare and chiedere.

    This distinction is nowadays made by a minority of people. I think it's more useful to think of bitten as pedir in Portuguese/Spanish and fragen as perguntar in Portuguese and preguntar in Spanish.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Use fragen with a question.
    Use bitten with a request.

    Ich habe ihn gefragt, ob er mir helfen kann.
    Ich habe ihn gebeten, mir zu helfen.
     

    brian

    Senior Member
    AmE (New Orleans)
    What if we talk about things (nouns) instead of phrases, orders, requests, questions, etc. (all involving verbs). Which would you use for: to ask someone for something? Are the following correct (and if so, what is the difference)?

    jemand nach etwas fragen
    jemand um etwas bitten


    Vielen Dank. :)
     

    Lykurg

    Senior Member
    German
    What if we talk about things (nouns) instead of phrases, orders, requests, questions, etc. (all involving verbs). Which would you use for: to ask someone for something?
    for concrete things:
    jemanden um etwas bitten - etwa: jemanden um Geld bitten; die Nachbarin um einen Liter Milch bitten etc.
    but also to ask for help or a favour: jemanden um einen Gefallen/um Hilfe bitten

    for abstract concepts - to obtain knowledge:
    Jemanden nach der Uhrzeit fragen, die Neue nach ihrem Namen fragen etc.


    Are the following correct (and if so, what is the difference)?

    jemanden nach etwas fragen
    jemanden um etwas bitten
    (Now they are, though the -en might be left out in rapidly spoken language.)

    I think apart from giving more examples I cannot explain it better than elroy did:
    Use fragen with a question.
    Use bitten with a request.
    You're welcome! :)
     

    cuchicu

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Hallo
    ich habe Zweifel mit dem Gebrauch von "darum".

    Kann man der Satz "Eva hat mich gebeten, mit Peter zu sprechen." auch so sagen: "Eva hat mich darum gebeten, dass ich mit Peter spreche".
    Vieleich ist im ersten Satz nicht klar, wer will mit Peter sprechen, ob Eva oder ich.

    Danke schön
     

    perny

    Senior Member
    Englisch
    What if we talk about things (nouns) instead of phrases, orders, requests, questions, etc. (all involving verbs). Which would you use for: to ask someone for something? Are the following correct (and if so, what is the difference)?

    jemand nach etwas fragen
    jemand um etwas bitten


    Vielen Dank. :)

    jdn. nach etw. fragen = to ask about something
    jdn. um etw. bitten = to ask for something
     
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