Meaning of ASK in English

/ ɑːsk; NAmE æsk/ verb , noun

■ verb



ask (sb) (about sb/sth) to say or write sth in the form of a question, in order to get information :

[ v speech ]

'Where are you going?' she asked.

[ vn speech ]

'Are you sure?' he asked her.

[ v ]

He asked about her family.

How old are you—if you don't mind me / my asking ?

[ vn ]

The interviewer asked me about my future plans.

Can I ask a question ?

Did you ask the price?

[ vnn ]

She asked the students their names.

I often get asked that!

[ v wh- ]

He asked where I lived.

[ vn wh- ]

I had to ask the teacher what to do next.

I was asked if / whether I could drive.

HELP NOTE : You cannot say 'ask to sb': I asked to my friend what had happened.



to tell sb that you would like them to do sth or that you would like sth to happen :

[ vn to inf ]

All the students were asked to complete a questionnaire.

Eric asked me to marry him.

[ v wh- ]

I asked whether they could change my ticket.

[ vn wh- ]

She asked me if I would give her English lessons.

[ v that ] ( formal )

She asked that she be kept informed of developments.

( BrE also)

She asked that she should be kept informed.


ask (sb) (for sth) to say that you would like sb to give you sth :

[ v ]

to ask for a job / a drink / an explanation

I am writing to ask for some information about courses.

[ vn ]

Why don't you ask his advice?

Can I ask a favour of you?

[ vnn ]

Why don't you ask him for his advice?

Can I ask you a favour?



to request permission to do sth :

[ v to inf ]

Did you ask to use the car?

I asked to see the manager.

[ v wh- ]

I'll ask if it's all right to park here.

[ vn wh- ]

She asked her boss whether she could have the day off.



[usually + adv. / prep. ] to invite sb :

[ vn ]

They've asked me to dinner.

I didn't ask them in (= to come into the house) .

We must ask the neighbours round (= to our house) .

[ vn to inf ]

She's asked him to come to the party.



[ vn ] ask sth (for sth) to request a particular amount of money for sth that you are selling :

He's asking £2 000 for the car.



ask sth (of sb) to expect or demand sth :

[ vn ]

I know I'm asking a great deal.

You're asking too much of him.

[ vn to inf ]

I know it's asking a lot to expect them to win again.

➡ note at demand


- ask for it

- be asking for trouble | be asking for it

- don't ask

- don't ask me

- for the asking

- I ask you

- if you ask me


- ask after sb

- ask around

- ask sb back

- ask for sb/sth

- ask sb out

■ noun


- a big ask




enquire ♦ demand ♦ query

All these words mean to say or write sth in the form of a question, in order to get information.


to say or write sth in the form of a question, in order to get information:

'Where are you going?' she asked.

She asked the students their names.

Can I ask a question ?

enquire / inquire

( rather formal ) to ask sb for information:

I called the station to enquire about train times.


to ask a question very firmly:

'And where have you been?' he demanded angrily.


( formal ) to ask a question:

'Why ever not?' she queried.


to ask / enquire about / after sb/sth

to ask / enquire / demand sth of sb

to ask / enquire / demand / query what / who / how , etc.

to ask / enquire / query politely

to ask / enquire / demand angrily



Old English āscian , āhsian , āxian , of West Germanic origin.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.