Question from David, asked on 07 Aug, 2019

Russian verb “to ask”

I've come across 3 verbs that all mean "ask" in some way or the other -- спрашивать, просить, and задавать. But what is the difference between them?

Thanks!
1 answer
Answered by Yulia on 07 Aug, 2019

Hi David,

Спрашивать-спросить means "to ask". It is used with the Accusative case or with the preposition у and the Genitive case.

Саша спросил её, как у неё дела. Sasha asked her how she was.

Просить-попросить means "to ask for something", "to ask a favour". It is also used with the Accusative case.

Я просил тебя не шуметь. I asked you not to make noise.

Задавать-задать is used with the noun вопрос (question) and the whole expression means "to ask a question". The object is used in the Dative case.

Преподаватель задавал много вопросов студентам. The teacher asked the students many questions.

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