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Thread: ask / ask for

  1. #1
    licinio is offline Junior Member
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    Default ask / ask for

    Can you correct please?

    You ask someone for directions
    They asked me 10 for that scrap of metal
    The ask a lot of money for that new house

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    Quote Originally Posted by licinio View Post
    Can you correct please?

    You ask someone for directions
    They asked me 10 for that scrap of metal
    The ask a lot of money for that new house
    1. This is OK, as long as you end the sentence with a period.
    2. This is confused. Are you buying or selling the metal?
    3. They are asking a lot of money...

  3. #3
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    NOT A TEACHER

    They asked me 10 for that scrap of metal.
    Why is this ambiguous? I understand this statement means "They wanted me to pay 10 pounds for that scrap of metal." Can it really mean something like "They offered me 10 pounds for that scrap of metal."?

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    NOT A TEACHER

    They asked me 10 for that scrap of metal.
    Why is this ambiguous? I understand this statement means "They wanted me to pay 10 pounds for that scrap of metal." Can it really mean something like "They offered me 10 pounds for that scrap of metal."?
    If it said "They offered me 10 pounds (I can't make the pound symbol)..." it would mean that. It doesn't mean that with "asked."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If it said "They offered me 10 pounds (I can't make the pound symbol)..." it would mean that. It doesn't mean that with "asked."
    So in what way is the sentence 'confused' as SoothingDave put it?

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    It's confused because "asked" isn't used in that way. Either they "offered" you 10 pounds for the metal (they were buying) or they "were asking" 10 pounds (they were selling). You can't say they "asked me" in this context.

  7. #7
    Cerezo is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    Is it correct to say They asked me to pay 10 for that scrap of metal?

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    You can, but it means something a bit different- they were making a request more than giving a price in your version IMO.

  9. #9
    licinio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    This seems to contradict the general rule whereby you ask for something in order to have it, and ask something in order to know it.
    Last edited by licinio; 26-Feb-2012 at 16:24.

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: ask / ask for

    It is not an exception to any rule.

    If you request something, you ask for it.
    If you state the price your wish to receive for something, you ask that price.

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