Ask, request, require, demand (vv.)

這四個動詞皆有「要求,請求」的意思,但它們的含意和用法不盡相同。Ask 是為了完成某事而口頭或書面向某人提出要求或請求最常用的字,長輩和晚輩以及上級和下級之間皆可使用,語氣較弱或者說比較客氣,如 I asked a friend of mine to help me. (我請求我的一位朋友幫助我);The teacher asked you to be present ( 老師要求你在場)。當不及物動詞用時,ask 與 for 連用亦意為「要求,請求」,表示想要得到某物,如 I asked for help. (我請求協助);She asked for a cup of tea. (她要求一杯茶)。

Request 則比較正式,語氣較強,指比較正式、比較有禮貌的請求,通常是你有權得到你所要求的,如 I requested assistance. (我請求幫助);They requested financial support. (他們要求資助);Many people have requested the next song. (許多人要求聽下一首歌);The letter requested us to leave the house within six weeks. (這封信要求我們在六週內搬出這棟房子)。

Require 是指根據需要、法律、協定、規章以及其他客觀情況所提出的要求,尤其是用在被動態,意為「要求;規定」,如 We require extra help. (我們需要額外的幫助);Silence is required of all examination candidates. (所有應試者都要保持安靜);I have done all that is required by law. (我已做到法律所要求的一切)。

Demand 的語氣更強,表示你有正當權利得到某事物所提出的要求,是指堅決或強烈地要求、理直氣壯地提出要求,而且堅持不讓對方拒絕要求或不會接受否定的回答,如 I demand my rights. (我要求應有的權利);The policeman demanded his name and address. (警察要求他說出姓名和住址);The dissatisfied customers demanded to see the manager of the store. (不滿的顧客要求見商店經理)。

在語法方面,這四個動詞都可接 that 所引導的名詞子句且在名詞子句中使用虛擬語氣 (subjunctive mood),即 (should) + 原形動詞。例如:

  • He asked that they (should) be allowed to use a dictionary. (他要求准許他們使用字典)。
  • The teaching staff requested that the principal should reconsider his decision. (全體教學人員請求校長重新考慮他的決定)
  • The director required that we should work all night. (主任要求我們通宵工作)
  • The boss demanded that John (should) finish it within a week. (老板要求約翰在一週內完成它)

Ask, request 和 require 都可以接受詞 + to do something,但 demand 則沒有這項用法。例如:

  • I asked her to get in touch with Mike as soon as possible. (我要求她儘快與麥可聯繫)
  • I requested him to come before nine. (我要求他九點以前來)
  • They required me to keep silence. (他們要求我保持沉默)

此外,require (不可用進行式) 後面可接動名詞,以主動形式表示被動,但 ask, demand 和 request 則無此種用法。Require 的這種用法與 need 和 want 等字的用法相同,它們後面可以接動名詞或不定詞被動態。例如:

  • My watch requires/needs/wants repairing. (我的手錶需要修理)
    = My watch requires/needs/wants to be repaired.