Preguntar vs Pedir

Common Mistakes in Spanish

When English speakers want to say 'Ask' in Spanish, they are frequently confused as to whether to use the verb Preguntar or Pedir.


When to use Preguntar

A) Preguntar is used to ask a question.

  • Tienes que preguntar cuánto vale el pasaje.
  • ¿Preguntaste a qué hora llega el avión?
  • Pregúntale a Pedro dónde están mis llaves.

Sometimes English speakers literally translate Ask for as Preguntar por or Preguntar para. They DON'T have the same meaning. Only preguntar por can by used when you are asking for/about someone.

  • Cuando llegues, pregunta por Juan.
  • ¿Alguien preguntó por mí?

When to use Pedir

A) Pedir means to ask for (something), to make a request.

  • Tienes que pedir permiso antes de ir.
  • Me pidió dinero pero yo no tenía nada.
  • Quiero pedir su número de teléfono pero tengo vergüenza.

In Summary

  • Preguntar = Ask (a question)
  • Preguntar por = Ask for someone / Ask about something
  • Pedir = Ask for something

See the complete conjugation of the verbs Preguntar and Pedir with examples in each tense. (Coming Soon!)

Try our interactive game online to practice the difference: Preguntar vs. Pedir


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Last Updated: 07 November 2014
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