It has these two sentences:

Er hat mich in fließendem Chinesisch nach dem Weg gefragt.
Sie fragt die Frau nach dem Weg.

What's the purpose of »nach« in the sentences? Is it just there to indicate what was being asked about?

closed as off-topic by user unknown, Jan, guidot, Em1, Hubert Schölnast Feb 13 '17 at 10:52

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  • 4
    Check the dictionary: nach etwas fragen means to ask about or for something. – Robert Feb 12 '17 at 15:47
  • The combination of Swiss quotation marks and ß looks weird to me. – Jan Feb 12 '17 at 18:22

How a specific verb is connected to its arguments is a question of grammar and not easily understood especially to people speaking other languages. In English, the verb to ask uses the extension for something. Thus, in English the sentences would be:

He asked for the way in fluent Chinese.

She asked the lady for the way.

Similarly, you can ask for a tissue, for money etc.

In French, the thing you are asking for is connected to the verb as a direct object.

Il a demandé la voie en chinois.

In German, it is connected as a prepositional object using the preposition nach:

Er hat sie in fließendem Chinesisch nach dem Weg gefragt.

Sie hat die Frau nach dem Weg gefragt.

It is thus always helpful to learn the arguments of a verb together with a verb. Thus, you should be learning that German nach etwas fragen corresponds to English to ask for something.


It's just a preposition used in an abstract context. In English you'd also use a preposition: Ask about the way or ask for the way

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