1

I have a piece of homework. I'm requested to say what speaker is doing. There are two questions.

  1. May I sit down? ---> asking permission

  2. What jobs should I apply for? ---> asking for advice.

Why we use ask for with advice, but not with permission? They are obviously nouns. Why don't they use asking for permission? Are there any difference between asking for permission and asking permission.

link

Ask and ask for: typical error

We use for when we request someone to give us something:

I called them to ask for more details.

Not: I called them to ask more details.

We also request somebody to give us permission. Why do they use asking permission?

1

You can say asking for permission and it means the same as asking permission. You can also say asking for advice as well as asking advice. Whether you use the preposition "for" or not, the phrases mean the same thing.

This is because "ask" is either transitive or intransitive. You can see the definition of "ask" here:

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/ask_1

Here is a web page that describes transitive verbs in greater detail:

http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/transitiveverb.htm

Basically, a transitive verb requires an object for the sentence, whereas an intransitive verb links permission to ask through the use of a preposition such as for. When a verb is defined as either transitive or intransitive, then it's up to the writer to decide whether to use a preposition or not. Asking for permission and asking permission have more or less the same meaning, but there may be instances when using the preposition could make the sentence clearer to the reader.

| improve this answer | |
  • According to Cambrigde dictionary, there is a difference between ask and ask for: Ask and ask for: typical error We use for when we request someone to give us something: I called them to ask for more details. Not: I called them to ask more details. They request someone to give them permission. Why didn't they use 'asking for permission'? – Thanhgiang Sep 13 '17 at 2:14
  • I believe my answer is correct. "Ask permission" and "ask for permission" are both acceptable and are both commonly used. They mean the same thing. You can also say "ask advice" or "ask for advice." – Ringo Sep 13 '17 at 3:44
  • Check out this answer from the English Usage stack: english.stackexchange.com/questions/234066/… – Ringo Sep 13 '17 at 3:44
  • I believe that first comment below the question is correct. It is likely idiomatic to drop the "for" with certain words such as "permission," "forgiveness," "advice," etcetera. I know that must be an irritating answer. It's very common to drop the "for" in these situations. – Ringo Sep 13 '17 at 3:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.