+0
Thanks for the replies.

I understand that "They asked him a question" is the simplest form and is much used.

But also the grammar books keeep saying that the sentence can be turned into either "They asked a question to him" or "They asked a question of him"

And also, the grammar books do not give the one unified answer.

There is one other answer I received recently. That is.... They asked a question of him" means a question of private matters like where he is from, what does he do, etc. whereas "They asked a quesion to him" means a question of non-private matters, for example, asking ways to some place, etc.

What do you native speakers think about this opinion?
+0
As I native speaker I must say that this is a good example of "splitting hairs"!

There does seem to be some truth, in a vague and general way, to the private/non-private distinction, but I do not think that the distinction is uniformly observed in practice.
The use of question to and question of is probably only 0.005%, whereas the use of ask him a question is 99.995%. A person could quite comfortably go through an entire lifetime without resort to those lesser used forms!

CJ
Comments  
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
CalifJim A person could quite comfortably go through an entire lifetime without resort to those lesser used forms!

CJ

Indeed so. In fact, in the BNC, there is only one example of "asked a question of + pron" and nothing re "asked a question to + pron". For "asked + pron + a question", there are 45 returns.

http://view.byu.edu /
Thanks...

Google shows 142 results for "ask questions to them".

I wanted to know what the native speaker's senses were....