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Could you please tell me the difference between "ask somebody something" and "ask of somebody something" or "ask something of somebody"?
Thanks in advance
Nikoo
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Hi,

Could you please tell me the difference between "ask somebody something" and "ask of somebody something" or "ask something of somebody"?

"ask somebody something" normal and common

"ask of somebody something" very, very unusual

"ask something of somebody" very formal

Clive
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Nikoo"ask somebody something" and "ask of somebody something" or "ask something of somebody"
Ask sb st.

This normally solicits the answer to a question. The "something" is an indirect question.

... ask John whether he wants more wine
... ask Mary what time the concert starts
... ask me which one I like more

It can also be used to request that an action be done. The "something" is an infinitive.

... ask John to open the window
... ask Mary to set the table
... ask me to repeat what I said

Ask st of sb.

This form is much less useful. It almost always occurs in fairly set expressions.

ask a favor of John
ask questions of the candidates
This is all I ask of you.

Ask of sb st.

Hardly ever used.

I only ask of you that you try to help.

CJ
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Comments  
Hi Clive and CalifJim,
Thanks for your complete and helpful answer.
I really appreciate it.
Nikoo
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