by | December 28, 2010

    E4 Ask Word Web


    Exceptional Expressions For Everyday Events

    Everyday learning in the classroom requires the asking of a variety of questions. A teacher asks students to answer a difficult math problem. Students ask the teacher to clarify instructions for a writing assignment. A student may ask another student about a homework assignment.

    As illustrated in the word web, the word ask can be used in a multitude of ways. How the word is used in a sentence provides the framework for the meaning of the word. These different uses should be emphasized for English Language Learners.

    Some synonyms of ask can imply emotion or meaning. For example, a person begging for money, or mercy, indicates desperation. To merely ask for something doesn’t suggest an emotion. Ask is a neutral term. Look at the synonyms of ask and see if there are other words that convey feelings or special meaning.


    • When is asking actually a command as opposed to a request?
    • Is asking students to do an activity different from requiring them to do one?
    • What is the difference between proposing and inviting?
    • How is inquiring different from demanding?
    • What is the difference between soliciting and begging?

    The Spanish Connection

    The word ask comes from an Old English word, ascian, for “to seek.” The Spanish word for to ask is preguntar. Ask and preguntar are not cognates. However, some synonyms for ask do have Spanish cognates.

    Word Changes

    • Ask is also a noun, but that usage is not very common. Some synonyms of ask can be used as verbs and as nouns. For example, question, query, offer, and demand are often used both as nouns and verbs.
    • The idiom “asking for the moon” describes an impossible request or demand.
    E4 Ask Morphology Web