''If you don't ask, you don't get'' in American English

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

Is the saying "if you don't ask, you don't get" currently used in American English? Oxford says it's ok today in British English. But what about in American English?

"If you don't ask, you don't get. If you want something, you have to tell people that you want it. You have to even insist or ask more than once.'' [My context]

Thank you in advance!
  • MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    I take this as just an inverse version of Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it shall be given you."
    Sorry, but I have to disagree somewhat. First of all I wonder if it's appropriate to refer to the bible considering the zillions of different interpretations of it that exist, and secondly I think the mainstream interpretations of the chapter/verse in question are that it's either about not being a hypocrite and being a good person (larger context) or about the value of prayer (smaller context).

    The phrases in the earlier posts to me simply imply that you need to make an effort in order to receive reward, or reach a goal. That to me has nothing (inherently) to do with morality or prayer. In fact, I think "squeaky wheel" even implies "complaining" in some contexts, which certainly could be perceived as a negative because of its perceived selfishness.

    Or perhaps I misunderstood you (?).
    As Glen hints, I think, "If you ask, you'll get it {be given it}" {as stated, for certain circumstances and acts, in the Bible}
    does not mean the same thing as the sentence in the OP**:

    "If you don't ask, you won't get it."

    **The squeaky wheel thing is, similarly, the converse of the OP.
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