Ask and Answer

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It’s natural to translate as you speak when you’re learning a new language but, sometimes, a direct translation is a trap that leads to mistakes in English.
Go to home is an example. (It’s go home).

Another possible trap is ask to. In conversation I often hear people say, "I asked to my coworker...", or "I’ll ask to my friend....." This is incorrect.
No need to ask to, just ask!

George asked Peppy about Hollywood.
I’ll ask my friend when she comes home.
Nat asked Alex for the recipe.

Eliminate to when you talk about asking. (If you have any problems, simply ask me).

The same rule applies to answer so when someone asks you a question, you answer it, not answer to it.

The employer answered all of my questions during the interview.
If you ask me a question, I'll answer it.
The president will gladly answer reporters' questions about the economy.

Ask and answer, not ask to or answer to.

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