Meanings of the verb ‘ask’

It is very difficult to understand the meaning of the context you’re reading or listening to if your knowledge of vocabulary is poor and superficial, which means that you know only one meaning of any word in English. For example, you know that ‘ask’ is a verb and it means ‘make a question’. However, it also means some other things such as ‘invite’ ‘make a request’, etc; not to mention phrasal verbs it forms and numerous collocations. My advice to you is to learn your vocabulary in context and look at its various meanings and uses in different contexts, as no word is a tree. Hence, you should use a monolingual dictionary and look at all possible meanings of the word ‘ask’.

Ask is a very common verb in English and as such it has several meanings:

To request an answer from someone:
  • She asked him a question.
  • They asked them about the new product.

    To make a request:

    • She asked the doctor to examine her.
    • They asked the bank for a loan.

      To seek information:

      • We asked local people for directions.
      • Amanda asked me about the film I watched.

      To invite:

      • The Johnsons have asked us to the party.
      • She asked them in for a coffee.

      To demand something:

      • They ask $20.000 for the house.
      • This job asks for a lot of patience.

      ASK + question word (what, who, where, when, how, why):

      • Jane asked me where I spent the weekend.
      • The guests asked who made the dinner.
      Meanings of the verb "ask"
      Meanings of the verb “ask”

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