"The man asks for wine."
Translation:L'homme demande du vin.
because "demander" or "commander" is transitive in French (no need for a preposition)
so it isn't as if the verb in effect is 'demander de'? I thought that was why it becomes 'du'.
No, you can "demander une fraise, demander l'heure, demander les papiers d'identité..."
Only when the thing you ask is not countable, you use the partitive du or de la:
demander du pain (some bread)
demander de la bière (some beer)
Thanks, i just wondering b/w de or du and i lost a heart to understand demander de is not a fixed construction
Does 'demander' carry the same kind of authority as demand in english, or is a nice way of asking for something?
1) in French "demander" is directly transitive (no preposition, neither "pour" nor any other)
2) this sentence is a statement, not an imperative. The format of your sentence, with "demande" upfront, is that of an order.
Back translating your proposed sentence would give: "Request the man for the wine!"
Thanks sitesurf. This course, through helpers such as your kind self and others is not only teaching me French but the grammar which I lack. Little by little I become more literate than my education ever taught me, now some 60 years ago. Thanks again.
Ask the man for the wine is correct too?
And when one asks someone for something, will the thing be the indirect object and the person the direct object in French?
So, L'homme demande la femme pour du vin. Is this correct? Thanks.
"ask the man for the wine" is in imperative and would translate to "demande(z) du vin à l'homme".
"demander quelque chose à quelqu'un": the thing asked for is always a direct object in French (no preposition, no "pour", nothing).
"l'homme demande du vin à la femme" is the simpler way to say it. Now, if the wine were qualified, you could reverse the order between the direct and the indirect objects:
- l'homme demande à la femme du vin de sa cave = the man asks the woman for wine from his cellar
"commander" is "to order", that is asking for something you are going to pay for.
"demander" is to ask for, to request
I'm getting confused on the grammar here: why don't you need "à" in this sentence? Is it because the man is asking for wine instead of asking someone to bring him wine? (i.e. is "à" only used with a form of demander when it's in conjunction with another verb?)
Not all verbs are used the same way; some need a preposition before their object, others don't.
Please compare: "the man asks for something" vs "the man requests something".
"To ask for" needs the preposition "for", but "to request" does not, and the French verb "demander" not either.
- The man asks for wine = L'homme demande du vin.
Besides, "demander" can have an indirect object, usually the person or organization something is asked to/from.
- The man asks the server for wine/The man asks for wine from the server = L'homme demande du vin au (à+le) serveur