Preguntar vs Pedir
Language Resources

Many people learning Spanish get confused by whether to use "preguntar" or "pedir" when translating the English verb "to ask". It might seem like the two could be interchanged, but in reality they are used in two very different ways.

Luckily, the rules that tell us which to use are pretty clear. Take a look:

When to use "PREGUNTAR"

  • To ASK a question, to request information, to ask about something
    • Me pregunta cuántos años tengo. (He asks me how old I am.)
    • Vamos a preguntarle. (We're going to ask her.)
    • Preguntar por su coche. (She asks about his car.)

When to use "PEDIR"

  • To ASK FOR something (an object, a favor, a service..)
    • Quiero pedir su número de telefono. (I want to ask for her phone number.)
    • Voy a pedir otra cerveza. (I'm going to ask for another beer.)
    • Quiero pedirte un favor. (I want to ask you for a favor.)