Is the distinction between pedir and perguntar that pedir is a request for a service, an object or a favour, whereas perguntar is to ask a question or to request information. After many examples this is the only difference I can see and think of.
In my mind, in order to remember, I think of "pedir" as "to ask for (something)", or to order something at a place like a restaurant, although that's probably rather simplistic.
It could be useful to link "pedir" to "petition" as both have the same etymology.
I answered "They ask for the lion," and it was marked correct. I had in mind the sense "they as to see the lion," but, as was pointed out, speaking in Portuguese I would probably use "pedir" instead for what I had in mind.
Interestingly, "They're asking about..." isn't accepted currently, but "They're asking for..." is.
I'd be nice to know if "pedir" and "perguntar por" are simply interchangeable or if there are important usage nuances.
So are there any distinct differences between perguntar por/sobre/de here?
They ask about the lion - Should this not be "Eles perguntam sobre o leão" In a previous example, "Eles falam pelos meninos" the translation is "They speak for the boys". When I entered " They speak about the boys", it was marked wrong.
"They ask for the lion" is incorrect now. It might not be common to say it this way but then why make it an option to answer the question like this? There's no explanation whatsoever which makes it confusing to me.
As I understand it, "perguntar por" is a specific usage wherein "por" means "about." Idiomatic, in other words. I could be wrong, but that's the only way I can make sense of it.