1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Je vais leur demander."

"Je vais leur demander."

Translation:I am going to ask them.

December 23, 2012



"les" is the direct form while "leur" is the indirect form.

Examples: direct : je veux des pommes, je vais les demander (I am going to ask for them/apples) indirect: je veux des pommes, je vais leur demander (I am going to ask the shop keepers)


Even after lots of reading up on the difference between Direct and Indirect and doing lots of exercises successfully, this still makes absolutely no sense to me :-( I can't see any difference between those two sentences... Argh!


I ask for my money = je demande mon argent

At the counter, I ask for Mr. X = Au comptoir, je demande M. X

I ask Mr. X for my money = je demande mon argent à M. X


Je vais eux demander. Is that correct?


No, because "eux" is not the pronoun form when the preposition is "à".

à + ils = leur, indirect object pronoun, reserved for the preposition "à".

"eux" is the stressed pronoun you can use with other prepositions:

  • avec eux, sans eux, devant eux, pour eux, etc.


Merci beaucoup C'est clair


the tip says ask for yet its considered incorrect! grrrrr


the tip in not complete: "ask someone for something"


But this, in English, is quite different to "ask someone e.g. a question" so perhaps you need to add more to the tip? I am going to ask someone whether they can help me with the problem ... versus ... I am going to ask for someone to help with the problem. In the first example you directly ask the person, in the second you ask a second party to find someone for you.


Yes, and in French also it is different:

je vais demander à quelqu'un de m'aider vs je vais demander que quelqu'un m'aide.


I wrote "I am going to ask for them." and Duolingo said it is wrong. Should I report it?


"I am going to ask for them" = je vais les demander

So, you cannot report it.


is it wrong to translate "demander" to "demand" ?


"demander" means ask for, require, request...

to demand translates to "exiger"


ah I get it now! merci beaucoup :)


Can i say "I will ask them "? (Iam not english nor french speaker)


When translating from French, both "am/is/are going to" and "will" are accepted.

But they're not equivalent in English. "Going to" has nuance of possibility ('Somebody help! he's going to fall!'), while "will" is more of a factual statement about the future ('I will survive!'). There may be other differences, but that's what comes to mind (note: I'm not a native English speaker).

French speakers: would the two examples above be translated simply as 'Il va tomber', 'Je vais survivre' ? Do the French have a notion of but-may-not-happen as a figure of speech, or is it contextual?


he is going to fall = il va tomber (he may fall, not sure, but it looks like he will)

I will survive = je survivrai (simple future: I am determined to survive, I will manage to)

so the nuance you point to is the same in both languages.


In my opinion, yes, you can.


Yes, means about the same.


How can you tell the difference between leur and leurs in speech?


"leurs" is a possessive adjective (their + plural noun).

"leur" is also a possessive adjective (their + singular noun)

"leur" can also be a personal pronoun meaning "them". Therefore, you will not hear it in front of a noun.

  • il conduit leur voiture (he drives their car)

  • il leur vend une voiture (he sells them a car)


I have read the comments, but I still feel that "I am going to ask for them" should be accepted. In my mind I am not asking for an object (like shoes) but rather that I'm asking a question on behalf of group of people. For example, someone might say "The people are wondering when the show will start. I am going to ask for them." Would that last sentence be translated different in this context?


I am going to ask them = je vais leur demander (demander à + indirect object pronoun)

I am going to ask for them = je vais les demander (demander + direct object pronoun)


Why is "I am going to ask for them" incorrect? Je vais leur demander.


ask for someone or something is indirect but "demander quelqu'un/quelque chose" is direct (no preposition).

Therefore, the object of "demander" needs a direct form: "them = les" and "leur = to them"


So... If I wrote Je vais te/vous/nous demander, it wouldn't be clear what do I mean? Since both direct and indirect object pronouns are the same?

Would I use "Je vais demander à toi..." for I am going to ask you? As in "I'm going to ask you if I run into any problems?"

And, if it's not too much trouble, could you tell me how to say "I'm going to ask for you if I have any problems?"


There is an ambiguity with "me, te, nous, vous" because the direct and indirect pronoun forms are the same, unlike: lui (à+il or à+elle) and leur (à+ils or à+elles).

Context would help and further elements of language might be necessary.

  • I ask you for the time = Je te demande l'heure: the direct object is explicit.

  • I'm asking you to come here = Je te demande de venir ici: same comment

  • Why so much hate? I'm asking you = Pourquoi tant de haine ? Je te le demande: "le" is the direct object.

  • I'll go to the reception desk and ask for you = J'irai à l'accueil et je te demanderai: context helps to understand that "te" is the direct object.


What is the different between "leur" and "eux"? Would it be incorrect to say "Je vais eux demander"? Or "Je vais elles demander"?


"leur" is the indirect object form of "ils/elles"; it stands for à + ils/elles.

With any other preposition, you have to use a stressed pronoun.

  • Indirect pronouns are: me, te, lui (à + il/elle), nous, vous, leur (à + ils/elles)
  • Stressed pronouns are: moi, toi, lui (il), elle (elle), nous, vous, eux (ils), elles.

Therefore, if the verb is constructed with the preposition "à", you will use an indirect pronoun, that will be placed before the verb and if the verb is constructed with any other proposition, you will use the stressed pronoun after the preposition:

  • to talk to someone = tu me parles, je te parle, je lui parle, tu nous parles, je vous parle, je leur parle
  • to talk with someone = l'homme parle avec... moi / toi / lui / elle / nous / vous / eux / elles


Why is this not les?


So is "je vais leurs demander" also possible?


No, "leur" (them) is an invariable pronoun in this case, not the possessive leur(s) = their


I think I understand what SiteSurf and others are explaining here about French. What I don't understand is the English. Because to me in the English sentence, "I am going to ask them," or the English sentence, "I ask them," "them" is the direct object of the verb "ask". Even though in the same French sentence, "Je vais leur demander," "leur" is the indirect object. Makes my head spin. Can someone please tell me if I am confused about how the English works?


It just happens that "them" works both as direct or indirect:

Ask them about it

Ask it of them


The audio sounded like "Je vais la demander" to me; is this a possibility?


It would be a possibility to translate: I am going to ask for her/it.


What about: "I will go ask them" ? Apparently this is incorrect, but for the world of me, it seems identical to "I will ask them" and "I am going to ask them" - which are the two acceptable translations. Any thoughts?


"I go to ask them" Why is this not accepted?


Are other people having trouble with sound? Mine is broken up and garbled, so I miss single syllable words which either disappear or are unintelligible...?

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.