"I am going to ask them."
Translation:Je vais leur demander.
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Only one possiblity with "I am going to ask them" => je vais LEUR demander (demander à = indirect object) = I am going to ask something TO them (leur/them = human beings able to answer the question)
The other possibility works differently: - je vais LES demander (demander + direct object) = I am going to ask FOR them (les/them = plural someone or something).
"ils" is exclusively used as single subject of the verb.
if the pronoun is placed after a preposition, it takes its "stressed" form "eux": pour eux, avec eux, sans eux...
"elles" has the same form as a single subject and as a stressed pronoun: pour elles, avec elles, sans elles...
Now, when the verb is constructed with preposition "à", the indirect object is placed in front of the verb and it takes its "indirect form":
- I talk to them (lit. je parle à eux or je parle à elles ) = je leur parle (masc and fem)
"Leur" can be a possessive adjective or an indirect object pronoun:
possessive adjective with two forms: singular or plural (same for masculine and feminine): Il/Elles voient leur frère / leurs frères / leur soeur / leurs soeurs
personal pronoun replacing "à + ils" or "à + elles", only in singular, and placed in front of verbs constructed with preposition "à": Je leur parle (I talk to them); je leur donne un biscuit (I give them a biscuit)
"demander" is not transitive, which means that it needs a proposition: demander quelque chose à quelqu'un.
so when the "someone" is a pronoun, you have to place it in front of the verb and it has to adopt the variant of "ils" or "elles" as indirect objects:
je leur demande = I ask to them
in that case "leur" pronoun can mean "ils" or "elles" interchangeably (like them)
"leur" (when it is an object meaning "them"/"to them", and not the possessive meaning "their") is an indirect object pronoun, which is always placed before the verb. Some verbs and expressions don't allow object pronouns before the verb, in which case you have to use a stressed pronoun (the corresponding stressed pronoun to "leur" is "eux" except if there are only girls in the group in which case it's "elles"). http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indirectobjects_2.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/pronouns_stressed.htm Example from the links above: Fais attention à eux. But not "Je vais demander à eux".
With verbs constructed with preposition "à", the pronoun is placed in front of the verb.
In that case: je vais leur demander (leur being the indirect form of ils and elles)
With other prepositions, you will use "eux" for "ils" and "elles" for "elles":
je vais avec eux (with them - males or a mix of males & females) or je vais avec elles (all females).
The spelling is "demander à quelqu'un" (no acute accent on the 1st -e)
Je vais demander aux has to be followed by a plural noun:
- Je vais demander aux (à+les = to the) garçons = I am going to ask the boys
When the "quelqu'un" is a pronoun and not a noun, the form is "leur" and the placement is in front of the verb:
- Je vais leur demander = I am going to ask them.
"Eux" is a stressed pronoun that you can use only in specific cases:
- short questions: Pourquoi eux ? (why them?)
- short answers: Ce sont eux ! (It's them!)
- as a multiple subject: Eux et moi sommes amis (They and I are friends)
- after a preposition: Je pars avec eux, pour eux, malgré eux...
- for emphasis: C'est à eux que je vais demander (It's them I am going to ask)
You can't judge correctness based on a machine translation tool (except maybe if you are talking about Lojban), but if you google the phrase "demander à eux" you'll find that you can add "à eux" for additional emphasis, but you still need to have "leur" in the original sentence ("je vais leur demander [à eux]").
Of course. One alternative is googling the phrase you are unsure of in quotes. That will tell you if it is being used, although it has to be the simplest possible variation. Lojban is a constructed language built on predicate logic and easily parsable by a computer, you should check it out!