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.
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?
"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?
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.
"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
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?