Can I use 'ask' and 'ask for' interchangeably? For example, there's no difference whatsoever (including stylistic difference) between 'ask forgiveness' and 'ask for forgiveness', is there?

  • 1
    ask for is usually used for making requests,. Whereas,` ask` use as a question.
    – Encipher
    Jan 21, 2020 at 21:55
  • Yes, ask for something versus ask [a question or something].
    – Lambie
    Jan 21, 2020 at 22:40
  • The verb to request might come handy in avoiding having to use to ask for.
    – Levente
    Feb 6, 2021 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


Generally, you can't. For example, if you replace the phrase 'ask a question' with 'ask for a question', it will turn question into requested thing: the preposition 'for' here precedes that thing (= the person who asks would like to be asked a question). Sometimes, in informal speech that preposition (before the desired 'forgiveness' in your example) is omitted, but it can't be added into a phrase about asking a question.

  • Your answer is a bit confusing.
    – Lambie
    Jan 21, 2020 at 22:33

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