The verb ask can be used in many ways. Most of the time, when someone asks a question, they are looking for information. Other times, when combined with prepositions, it can mean to make a request of someone or gather general information about a topic.
Ex: When I called in sick at work for five days, Jerry called my house to ask what was wrong. He was worried and thought I might need the help of a friend.
Ex: If you make a mistake, it's okay to ask someone how you can put it right. We simply can't do everything on our own, and sometimes we need the guidance of others.
To ask for something means to request an object, present, or favor from another person. Not to be confused with ask about, when you ask for something, you are not asking a question.
Ex: Julia adores flowers but can't stand jewellery or expensive gifts, so every holiday season she asks for a bouquet of yellow daisies for Christmas.
Ex: After deciding to go into the city centre with friends for a New Year's Eve party, Chris asked for the keys to the family car and thirty pounds for petrol to drive to the party.
When you ask about something, you want information about a specific topic or issue, rather than a physical object or gift. Sometimes, when someone asks about something, they are showing concern or care. Other times, they are being nosy or gossipy, asking about something that is none of their business.
Ex: After my mom's heart attack in 2005, my best friend Nikki would call every Sunday to ask about her health. She wanted to make sure my mom was feeling better.
Ex: Amanda asked about the wedding after she heard that my fiancée and I had broken up. I knew she was just being arrogant and did not really care about our relationship.