Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

a big ask

a big ask
1) a difficult or demanding request
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • I know it's a big ask, but...
  • Analysis

    If something is considered to be a 'big ask', it's likely to be something you expect to be difficult to do, either for the person you are asking, or in general. If your friend was terrified of driving, for example, it would be 'a big ask' to expect them to drive you to work if you were suddenly unable to do it yourself. Generally, you present someone with 'a big ask' (or a difficult or upsetting task) when you have very few options; and so you are likely to use it when the person who might not want to help is the only person capable of doing so.

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. We need to win all our remaining games to have any chance of winning the title. It's a big ask, but we will give it our best shot.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I know it's a big ask, but I need that order completed by lunchtime tomorrow.
    2. It's a pretty big ask to have a proposal ready to present by the end of the week, but I think I'm up to the challenge.
    3. Sorry, but there's no way I can do that within the given time frame. That's too big an ask.
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