Me contó que no había visto a Delgadina desde hacía más de un mes, que parecía tan repuesta del susto de mis estropicios que ni siquiera habló de ellos ni preguntó por mí, y estaba muy contenta en un nuevo empleo, más cómodo y mejor pagado que coser botones. (Memorias de mis putas tristes, Garcia Marquez)

Edith Grossman translated this paragraph as follows:

She told me she hadn't seen Delgadina for more than a month, that the girl seem ed to have recovered so well from her fright at my destructiveness that she didn't even mention it or ask for me, and was very happy in a new job, more comfortable and better-paid than sewing on buttons.

Thus, I guess, "ask for me" for "preguntó por mí". However, I think the narrator in the novel meant that the girl did not ask about him, rather than for him. So, which one is correct here?


3 Answers 3


Rather interesting question. In this context where two people are just catching up with each other, preguntar por alguien just means that you are also interested in catching up with other person who is absent from the conversation. It is a mean to show interest about the wellness of that other person. A typical conversation in which a person ask about a third party would be like this:

Fulano: - Oye, ¿y qué tal le va a Zutano?

Mengano: - Ah, pues bien, ahora trabaja de chef en un restaurante.

In that conversation, Fulano pregunta [a Mengano] por Zutano.


ask for someone can be also interpreted as pedir saber de alguien, which means what's the other person doing while not being present. (As the previous answer stated it.)

So we could have,

(...) ni siquiera habló de ellos ni pidió saber de mí.


In the context of this paragraph, you are correct, the author meant that the girl didn't asked about him.

In spanish Preguntó por would mean 'ask about' when the question is about information, and 'ask for' when the question is about objects or directions.

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