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What is the meaning of the phrase ask of in the following sentence?

Trust and security are important for any application; before we move on to the meat of accessing data, let’s make sure the browser itself is capable of doing everything you’re asking of it.

It is extracted from a technical book.

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Where's the research? –  Kris Apr 5 '13 at 15:47

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

This meaning of ask (definition 7) is mentioned in the OALD:

expect/demand
[transitive] to expect or demand something ...
ask something of somebody You're asking too much of him.

So, "doing everything you’re asking of it" means doing everything you expect or demand of it.

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That sense is derived by the use of the preposition of -- see your own example. –  Kris Apr 4 '13 at 6:57

"doing everything you're asking of it" means "doing everything you're asking it to do".

Which, in the case of an inanimate thing, means "doing everything you're trying to get it to do".

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'Asking of' here is in the same sense as 'demanding of.' Asking something to someone (or in this case, something - the browser) means putting a question. Asking something of someone is like making a request or asking a favour. It implies involvement of proactive effort on the part of the other party in the process of meeting your requirement(s).

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I couldn't find anything about this on dictionaries in order to explain it with definitions, but basically the meaning is this one:

Trust and security are important for any application; before we move on to the meat of accessing data, let’s make sure the browser itself is capable of doing everything you’re asking it to do.

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