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answer or answer?

Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between verbs reply and answer gives? And if so, what exactly is this difference?

We answer you because we would like to answer this question to you. It is also not very difficult to answer this question. So we answer now.

As for the main meaning, there is no difference between the two verbs. The main meaning of both verbs is:

give an oral or written answer to a question

However, you have to be careful when using these verbs, because the usage varies.

The verb answer is transitive, i.e. it always starts with an accusative object (What do we answer?). In contrast, the verb reply without additions, with a dative (Who do we answer?) or with the preposition on + accusative (What do we respond to?) stand.

answer someone
answer to + accusative
to answer something to someone

answer a question / letter


  • The teacher asked the class, but no one answered.
  • I ask and you answer.
  • Why do not you answer?

answer someone

  • You have to answer me when I ask you.
  • Why do not you answer me?

answer to something

  • He asked a question, but no one answered his question.
  • Why don't you answer my question?
  • I haven't replied to your letter yet.
  • He answered no to my question.
  • Would you please answer the questions in the questionnaire?

responding to something

  • Have you already replied to his letter?
  • Please answer me to this question!

answer something

  • I am not answering the question.
  • I do not answer this question.
  • He answered yes to my question.
  • Would you please answer the questionnaire?


Differences between the two verbs

But there is a slight difference between the two verbs. With the meaning “react to an event” one uses rather answer to as answer.

  • She responded to this behavior with a shake of her head.
  • The indignant audience responded to the politician's statements with boos and whistles.
  • The goal to make it 1-0 came in the 23rd minute, but our team responded immediately with the equalizer.

We hope we have answered your question.

To ask?

Here you read and learn all meanings of the verb reply.

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