I usually hear something like

I am going to ask her out.

That made me follow the preposition discussion on the WR. However, I am still not sure how things work in AmE.

Which one(s) is (are) correct in AmE?

  1. Ask someone out for (a ?) something.
  2. Ask someone out to (a ?) something.
  3. Ask someone out as (a ?) something.

What is the idiomatic way to describe this course of action in AmE? I mean to express "asking someone to go together somewhere to do something there".

Shouldn't I use the indefinite article? Could you advise me on article too?

No offense, please, I am only asking for AmE. I am already confused.

2 Answers 2


In general: you ask someone out to a place, but for an activity. A date is unique in that you can also go on a date. Examples:

A asked B out to the movies. (a place)

A asked B out for a movie. (an activity)

A asked B out to the coffee shop. (a place)

A asked B out for coffee. (an activity)

A asked B out on a date. (special rule for a date)

Often this distinction is just a personal choice - I could equally invite someone "to coffee" or "for coffee" or "for a coffee," since "coffee" could stand in for a location (the coffee shop) or the activity (drinking coffee or drinking a single coffee).

You only use as when you're referring to the person who is being dated, not the destination:

A decided to ask out B as his date.

  • Thanks for the answer. One more question, what if I use "as" like "May I ask you out, as a date" or something like that? Is it fine?
    – Cardinal
    Feb 6, 2018 at 13:37
  • 1
    Not quite - the object of "as" should refer back to the person, not the event, and you almost always use a possessive pronoun when referring to a person you going on a date with (my date, her date, etc.). So you could say, "May I ask you out as my date?" although I think that it would be more common to say, "May I ask you out on a date?" Feb 6, 2018 at 14:33
  • Thanks, I will wait for a while and then accept this answer.
    – Cardinal
    Feb 6, 2018 at 16:43

Ask someone out for (a ?) something.

This makes me think of some situations such as :

John Asked Tina out for a Date.

John Asked Tina out for a Dinner.

John Asked Tina out for a Movie.

These examples clearly show an invitation to go on an intentional date, however, according to the Free Dictionary, you can also invite someone to go to a remote location, or a different country;

She was feeling a little bit off-colour, so she asked John out to her place, she doesn't want all her friends around;

  • Do you mind if I ask if you are a native AmE speaker? Also, what about the sentence without any articles?
    – Cardinal
    Feb 6, 2018 at 13:21
  • 1
    US Southeastern native speaker here. I wouldn't say "asked Tina out for a dinner", I'd say "asked Tina out for dinner".
    – Deolater
    Feb 6, 2018 at 13:24
  • @Deolater, I would use for a dinner, to dinner, for dinner. They have very little difference, from my perspective. Feb 6, 2018 at 13:28
  • @Cardinal I don't, I'm Brazilian, though. Feb 6, 2018 at 13:29

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