Spanish Verbs: Pedir vs Preguntar

In Spanish, the verbs pedir and preguntar both mean "to ask", yet they are not interchangable. Knowing when to use one or the other depends entirely upon the context in which they are used.


The verb pedir is used to ask for or request a service, object, or favor.

Juan asked me if I could take care of his dog while he was in the hospital.
Juan me pidió que le cuidara a su perro mientras estaba en el hospital.
I asked him for help.
Le pedí ayuda.
She asks for more water because it's hot.
Ella pide más agua porque hace calor.
They asked me for my drivers license.
Me pidieron mi licencia de conducir.
We asked for three more drinks.
Pedimos tres bebidas más.


The verb preguntar is used to ask a question or request information.

We asked them if they knew you.
Les preguntamos si te conocían.
Can I ask what time they serve dinner?
¿Puedo preguntar qué hora sirven la cena?
He asked me what my name was.
Él me preguntó cómo me llamaba.
She asked me about my work.
Ella me preguntó por mi trabajo.
I wonder what time it is.
Pregunto qué hora es.