poser vs demander

Two verbs that can cause a lot of confusion for students are poser and demander. Both of these verbs mean to ask but they have different usages. In short, poser is used in the context of asking questions while demander is used for asking for things and services. We’ll look at the two verbs in detail in this post.

Before going any further let’s take a quick look at the two verbs in the present tense:

POSERDEMANDER
je pose
tu poses
il, elle, on pose
nous posons
vous posez
ils, elles posent
je demande
tu demandes
il, elle, on demande
nous demandons
vous demandez
ils, elles demandent

poser – to ask (a question)

The verb poser means to ask but specifically it’s used in the context of asking questions. Here are some example sentences:

  • Pourrais-je vous poser une question, s’il vous plaît ? May I ask you a question, please?
  • Sylvie pose une question au professor. Sylvie asks the teacher a question.
  • Tu me poses trop de questions ! You asking me too many questions!

You cannot say ‘demander une question‘ for ‘to ask a question’. The verb poser has to be used.

Speed up your learning with an app

Many of our students have greatly enhanced their learning by using an app. On these pages we've examined the top-30 apps for learning French. On this pages we've written comprehensive reviews for Pimsleur (great for people struggling with pronunciation), Rosetta Stone and FrenchPod101 (both great for visual learners).

demander – to ask (thing or service)

Demander can be a bit of can of worms. The grammatical structure, ‘demander à qqn de faire qqch‘ means to ask somebody to do something. In addition, ‘demander qqch à qqn‘ means to ask somebody for something’. Demander can also be followed by a direct object. Here are some example sentences:

  • Sylvie demande à Pierre de partir. Sylvie asks Pierre to leave.
  • Pierre demande une augmentation à son patron. Pierre asks for a raise in salary from his boss.
  • Marc demande un service à son patron son ami. Marc asks his friend for a favor.
  • Je vous demande une réponse d’ici vendredi après-midi. I’m asking you for a reply by Friday afternoon.
Related lessons:
Discover more:

If you've found this post useful you might want to considering looking at our post covering the best apps for learning French. We've looked a total 33 apps and have written comprehensive reviews of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and FrenchPod101.

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!

About David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

Speak Your Mind

*