Spanish The Verbs "pedir" and "preguntar"


This module shows the differences in two verbs about asking: pedir (to ask for) and preguntar (to ask).

May I ask

The verb in Spanish “Pedir” means “to ask for,” it is used when the person is asking for something, and it can be a favor, money, free time or another. The verb “Pedir,” always demands action, while the verb “Preguntar,” demands only information. “Pedir,” can also be used to ask for information during a normal conversation in a store or a restaurant.  

  • Quiero pedir una pizza y una soda. = I want to ask for pizza and a soda.
  • Le quiero pedir que me traiga un vaso de agua. = I want to ask you to bring me a glass of water.

 The Spanish verb “Preguntar” means “to ask,” as well, however it implies to ask for information, for example:

  • Pregunta cuando es la fiesta = Ask when is the party.

Pedir y Preguntar mean the same but are not interchangeable. Pedir is used in general to ask or solicit a service, and/or ask a favor and always expects a response with an action.

  • Pide más tiempo = Ask for more time
  • Pedimos dinero = We ask for more money.

In English we use “to ask,” and we use this word when we ask for information and also when we make a request. In Spanish we use the word Pedir when we make a request for something.


Yo pido una limonada en el restaurante = I ask for a lemonade at the restaurant.

Ella pide que la lleven al hospital = She asks to be taken to the hospital.

Ellos preguntan por la dirección de la casa. = They ask for the address to the house.

Preguntamos por la señora Beatriz. = We ask for Mrs. Beatriz.

Pide que te ayuden a llevar tus libros. = Ask for help to carry your books.

Nosotros pedimos que nos suban el sueldo. = We ask to be given a raise.

I want to ask you “how old are you?” = Quiero preguntarte “¿cuántos años tienes?”

Ask him: “Who is the owner of the business?” = Pregúntale quién es el dueño del negocio.

Conjugating Appropriately: Present tense verb “Pedir,”

Yo Pido       –           I ask       

Tu Pides     –           You ask

El/Ella pide –           He/She asks

Nosotros pedimos-   We ask

Vosotros pedís   –     You all ask

Ellos/Ellas piden – They ask

Conjugating the verb “Preguntar,” to ask, in present tense.

Yo pregunto –   I ask

Tú preguntas- You ask

El pregunta   –   He asks

Ellos/Ellas preguntan- They ask

Vosotros preguntáis- You all ask

Nosotros preguntamos- We ask

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:

Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.