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Demander une question - French Mistake

French mistakes analyzed and explained


Mistakes will always be made in French, and now you can learn from them.

Wrong: Demander une question

Right: Poser une question

Explanation: The French verb demander has several tricky aspects to it. Perhaps most importantly, it is a faux ami - it doesn't mean "to demand," but rather "to ask":

   Il m'a demandé pourquoi.
   He asked me why.

Demander quelque chose à quelqu'un means "to ask someone for something." Note that in French there is no preposition in front of the thing being asked for, but there is a preposition in front of the person being asked:

   Je vais demander un stylo à Michel.
   I'm going to ask Michel for a pen.

And finally, demander can't be used with the word question - "to ask a question" in French is poser une question:

   Puis-je te poser une question ?
   Can I ask you a question?

Other ways to say "ask a question" in French are adresser une question (à quelqu'un) and formuler une question.

Related lessons:
   Verbs with prepositions
   Faux amis
   Conjugations for demander
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