to ask / to ask for

Dymn

Senior Member
Hi,

I wonder if you use the same verb when asking to know (1) or to get something (2 and 3).

English uses "ask" for all (although maybe "ask for" is a distinct phrasal verb?):

1. I asked him if he would come.
2. I asked him for help.
3. I asked him to help me.


In Catalan you can use "demanar" in all cases, and "preguntar" for the first one.

Li vaig demanar/preguntar si vindria.
Li vaig demanar ajuda.
Li vaig demanar que m'ajudés.


In Spanish "pedir" is for 2 and 3 and "preguntar" for 1. There may be some overlap but they have distinct usages.

Le pregunté si vendría.
Le pedí ayuda.
Le pedí que me ayudara.


How about the languages you speak?
 
  • Not in Greek:

    Ask: «Ρωτάω» [ɾɔˈta.ɔ] (uncontracted) & «ρωτώ» [ɾɔˈtɔ], learned «ερωτώ» [e.ɾɔˈtɔ] < Classical v. «ἐρωτάω/ἐρωτῶ» ĕrōtắō (uncontracted)/ĕrōtô (contracted) --> to ask, question (with no etymology, although the Ionic form «εἰρωτάω» ei̯rōtáō < «*ἐρϝωτάω» ĕrwōtáō points towards a possible PIE root *h₁row-o- questioning, inquiry, with no direct cognates outside Greek).

    Ask for: «Ζητάω» [ziˈta.ɔ] (uncontracted), and «ζητώ» [ziˈtɔ] (contracted) --> to ask for, request, inquire < Classical v. «ζητέω/ζητῶ» zētéō (uncontracted)/zētô (contracted) --> to search, research, inquire, investigate (from a possible IE root *ie̯h₂- to search, inquire, with no direct cognates outside Greek).

    1. I asked him if he would come: Τον ρώτησα αν θα έλθει [ˌtɔŋˈɾɔ.ti.sa ˈan ˈθa ˈel.θi]
    2. I asked him for help: Του ζήτησα βοήθεια [tu ˈzi.ti.sa vɔˈi.θi.a]ˌ
    3. I asked him to help me: Του ζήτησα να με βοηθήσει [tu ˈzi.ti.sa ˈna ˈme vɔ.iˈθi.si]
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    In Catalan you can use "demanar" in all cases
    As it seems often, Catalan is closer to French than to Spanish. In French, only one verb for both situations: demander

    1. I asked him if he would come --> Je lui ai demandé s'il(*) viendrait
    2. I asked him for help --> Je lui ai demandé de l'aide
    3. I asked him to help me --> Je lui ai demandé de m'aider


    (*) contraction of "si il" = "if he"
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Hi,

    I wonder if you use the same verb when asking to know (1) or to get something (2 and 3).

    English uses "ask" for all (although maybe "ask for" is a distinct phrasal verb?):

    1. I asked him if he would come.
    2. I asked him for help.
    3. I asked him to help me.
    Just to say in sentence 1 and 2 you don't need "him". You can also use request in 2 and 3 to bring out the same distinction you make in Spanish/Catalan.
     

    Dymn

    Senior Member
    You can also use request in 2 and 3 to bring out the same distinction you make in Spanish/Catalan.
    Is it a day-to-day verb though? You can say requerir or sol·licitar/solicitar in Catalan and Spanish for 2 and 3 too, but usually the focus is on the colloquial language, it's no wonder more formal words are able to do finer distinctions.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Is it a day-to-day verb though? You can say requerir or sol·licitar/solicitar in Catalan and Spanish for 2 and 3 too, but usually the focus is on the colloquial language, it's no wonder more formal words are able to do finer distinctions.
    I find request to be pretty day-to-day, more so than requerir and solicitar at least. Ask, of course, is one of those passe-partout verbs that can combine with any number of prepositions (for, after, in, around...) to slighty change meaning. I'd tend to use request to be precise.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Different (partially), but related verbs in Russian:
    to ask (questions, with sentential arguments) - спрашивать (spráshivat')
    to ask (to do sth or for something, with direct objects or sentential arguments) - просить (prosít')
    "To ask questions" utilizes a separate verb to avoid a tautology - задавать вопросы (zadavát' voprósy), literally "to give (behind) questions", since "a question" is formed from the same root as "to ask".
     

    Włoskipolak 72

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Polish

    I asked him if he would come. = Zapytałem go, czy przyjdzie.
    I asked him for help. =
    Poprosiłem go o pomoc .
    I asked him to help me. = Poprosiłem go aby mi pomógł .


    Ask = pytać, zapytać , zadawać pytanie
    Ask = prosić

    ask ,demand = żądać, życzyć sobie

    How much did he ask for that car? (Ile on zażyczył sobie za tamten samochód?)
     

    Ergulis

    Senior Member
    In Czech, ask also bears two meanings, like in Polish.
    We use separate words for that.

    1. Ask questions = ptát se
    2. Ask for something = žádat/prosit o něco

    1. I asked him if he would come = zeptal jsem se ho, jestli přijde
    2. I asked him for help = požádal jsem ho o pomoc
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Hi,

    I wonder if you use the same verb when asking to know (1) or to get something (2 and 3).

    English uses "ask" for all (although maybe "ask for" is a distinct phrasal verb?):

    1. I asked him if he would come.
    2. I asked him for help.
    3. I asked him to help me.


    How about the languages you speak?
    Dutch:
    1. Ik vroeg hem of hij wou komen.
    2. Ik vroeg hem om hulp.
    3. Ik vroeg hem [om]mij te helpen. // Ik verzocht hem (request), etc.
    [4. Ik vroeg naar het geslacht in bepaalde zinnen (I enquired about the gender in ...)]
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Indeed. We have bidden though, meaning praying, or asking (older meaning), and bedelen, begging, asking repeatedly. So I think German has distinguished two meanings with the first, bitten/ beten (ask/ pray), but it is also has betteln, or so I think, but I am not a native speaker of German. Any speaker of German in the room?
     

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    In Catalan you can use "demanar" in all cases, and "preguntar" for the first one.

    Li vaig demanar/preguntar si vindria.
    Li vaig demanar ajuda.
    Li vaig demanar que m'ajudés.


    In Spanish "pedir" is for 2 and 3 and "preguntar" for 1. There may be some overlap but they have distinct usages.

    Le pregunté si vendría.
    Le pedí ayuda.
    Le pedí que me ayudara.
    In Italian:
    1. Gli ho domandato/chiesto se verrà
    2. Gli ho chiesto aiuto
    3. Gli ho chiesto se mi può aiutare
    Domandare instead of chiedere is possible also in #2 and #3 but sounds a little strange to me.
     

    twenty6

    Senior Member
    English - U.S., Chinese - Mandarin
    I wonder if you use the same verb when asking to know (1) or to get something (2 and 3).
    In Chinese, yes. There are many words for "ask"/"asked", but they're all basically synonyms. Sometimes one is more specified for a specific scenario/scenarios, but most can be used interchangeably.

    问 (wèn),询问 (xún wèn),要求 (yāo qiú),请求(qǐng qiú),are the most common.
     

    numerator

    Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    In Hungarian, the word for sense 1 (question) is kérdez (or kérd), derived from the word for senses 2 and 3 (request): kér.

    In Slovak, the word for sense 1 is pýtať sa; sentences 2 and 3 would be normally translated by the unrelated verbs prosiť or žiadať.
    However, there is also the verb pýtať or pýtať si, which sounds unidiomatic to me when asking for help, but very idiomatic in other contexts: asking for money, asking for a specific object, asking for a specific person (e.g. to serve you).

    If I'm not mistaken, Latin rogare also has both meanings, but I don't know if this has been preserved in any of its successor languages...
     

    Rallino

    Moderatoúrkos
    Turkish
    Turkish uses istemek (to want) in a perfect past tense to convey the idea of requesting.

    To ask a question is "sormak".

    1. Onun gelip gelmeyeceğini sordum.
    2. Onun yardımını istedim.
    3. Ondan bana yardım etmesini istedim.
     

    Demiurg

    Senior Member
    German
    Indeed. We have bidden though, meaning praying, or asking (older meaning), and bedelen, begging, asking repeatedly. So I think German has distinguished two meanings with the first, bitten/ beten (ask/ pray), but it is also has betteln, or so I think, but I am not a native speaker of German. Any speaker of German in the room?
    In German we have "fragen" (to ask) and "bitten" (to ask for). Related are "beten" (to pray, 'to ask God for') and "betteln" (to beg, 'to ask repeatedly for').

    "bitten" is irregular: bitten, bat, gebeten
    "beten" is regular: beten, betete, gebetet
     

    bwac14

    Senior Member
    English-US
    In Hindi/Urdu, different verbs would be used for each:

    1. मैंने उससे पूछा कि क्या वो आएगा।
      میں نے اس سے پوچھا کہ کیا وہ آئے گا۔
      (the verb pūchnā: to ask [something])

    2. मैंने उससे मदद मांगी
      میں نے اس سے مدد مانگی۔
      (the verb māngnā: to ask [for something])

    3. मैंने उसे मेरी मदद करने को कहा
      میں نے اسے میری مدد کرنے کو کہا۔
      (the verb kehnā: to say, to tell)
     
    Top