request vs ask : Common Errors in English

About request vs ask

If you want something you can request it or you can ask for it. Many people like “request” because it sounds more formal, more elegant; but to other people it just sounds pretentious. There are many instances in which plain old “ask” works better: “I'm asking my buddies to go camping with me.” “She asked him to walk the dog.” Except on wedding invitations, try to avoid “request” where “ask” will do as well.

request Meaning(s)

  • (n) a formal message requesting something that is submitted to an authority
  • (n) the verbal act of requesting
  • (v) express the need or desire for; ask for
  • (v) ask (a person) to do something
  • (v) inquire for (information)

ask Meaning(s)

  • (v) inquire about
  • (v) make a request or demand for something to somebody
  • (v) direct or put; seek an answer to
  • (v) consider obligatory; request and expect
  • (v) address a question to and expect an answer from
  • (v) require as useful, just, or proper
  • (v) require or ask for as a price or condition

request in News

  1. Request to rename park for Parete is rejected by Council in Lockport

    LOCKPORT – The Common Council decided Wednesday to refuse a request from high school classmates of the late Buffalo Police Officer Patricia A. Parete to rename a city park in memory of the Lockport native.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The Buffalo News

  2. Recipe Request: Zucchini quiche, chicken pot pie, potato salad and more

    It's another all-new request week.
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Los Angeles Daily News


    SEEKS PROPOSALS FROM SANITATION CONTRACTORS   The City of New Germany is seeking proposals from qualified sanitation contractors to provide … The post REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS – NEW GERMANY appeared first on Sun Patriot .
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Waconia Patriot

ask in News

  1. Ask Matt: Thrones Unspoiled, Nurse Jackie, Mad Men, Orphan Black

    Ask Matt: Thrones Unspoiled, Nurse Jackie, Mad Men, Orphan Black Seattle Post-Intelligencer Copyright 2013 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 7:06 am, Monday, June 10, 2013 (Although with Thrones, I read the first three books years before HBO began filming them, so I knew what was coming - and in ...
    on June 12, 2013 Source:

  2. 'Ask Aaron' live chat begins at 2 p.m.

    Today, we'll be talking immigration, Edward Snowden, NSA and about the Senate races in Massachusetts and New Jersey, along with anything else you care to ask about.
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Washington Post

  3. Ask a cop: Are security systems worth the money?

    Have you ever wanted to ask a cop a question but were either intimidated or had warrants? Well now is your chance to ask a question through the safety of the Internet. This week, Officer Anonymous covers security systems and burglary prevention.
    on June 10, 2013 Source: KSL Salt Lake City

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