This sentence:

You have the right to ask for someone in the United States of America.

  • Does it have any grammatical errors?
  • Does it even make sense? I think it is usually ...to ask for someTHING ...not someONE
  • 2
    Yes you can ask for someone. If you provide more context it would help though...
    – tenfour
    Aug 9 '12 at 21:32
  • Target red cards customer satisfaction. Talking to the customer service people
    – Blake
    Aug 9 '12 at 21:33
  • Question: "Who just came into the office?" Reply: "Some visitor - she's asking for Mr. Jones." Rude eavesdropping visitor: "Darned right I am. You have the right to ask for someone in the United States of America." (Yes, you have the right to ask for someone in English; it usually means you are requesting to see or speak with that person.)
    – J.R.
    Aug 9 '12 at 21:38
  • 1
    This question might be a better fit for our proposed sister site for English language learners. Please support it. Thanks!
    – RegDwigнt
    Aug 9 '12 at 21:46
  • You have the right to ask to speak with a person physically located in the USA, not (probably) India. Aug 9 '12 at 21:57

Yes, the sentence is grammatically correct. It is, however, ambiguous; it may mean You have the right to ask to speak to someone who is in the USA (as opposed, perhaps, to someone in a call centre), or it may mean One of the freedoms this country guarantees is the right to ask to speak to somebody (as in JRs comment: this is deliberately rude). And you are right that it is usually to ask for something rather than someone, but that has very little to do with good English.

  • 1
    Or maybe you only have a right to ask a question on behalf of a citizen of the USA. (I asked the professor the question for Jane).
    – Xantix
    Aug 9 '12 at 23:52

Yes, it is grammatically correct, and given your comment concerning the context, it now makes sense.

What it means is that you have the right to request a customer service representative who is from the United States, as opposed to someone from India or another country where the accent may be nearly impossible for an American to understand.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.