For the sentence “And afterwards, I would finally propose to her”, there are two answers:
Et après, je lui demanderais enfin de m’épouser/ Et après, je la demanderais enfin en marriage.
Why is the indirect object for the verb “demander” used in the first sentence and the direct object for the verb “demander” used in the second?
Freeform Writing Exercise B1
Here they are using two different ways of asking someone to marry you -
Demander à quelqu'un de vous épouser
Demander quelqu'un en marriage
The first one requires an indirect object pronoun because of the 'à' in the construction and the second a direct object pronoun.
But thank you for pointing this out as it shows how important this little preposition 'à' is.
Demander + à qqn de faire qqc -- to ask someone to do something.Demander qqc -- Tu request something.
Je lui ai demandé de m'épouser. -- I asked her to marry me.Je l'ai demandée en marriage. -- I requested "her in marriage".
To parse the second example grammatically, you have to realize that "la" is the direct object, i.e., that which is requested. The "en marriage" specifies how you request her. A parallel construction would be:
J'ai demandé mon steak cuit à point. -- I ordered my steak "cooked to the point" (= medium). Again, mon steak is the COD and cuit à point specifies how exactly you requested it.
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