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Home > Language > Words > Enquire and Inquire Compared

Difference Between Enquire and Inquire

Enquire vs Inquire

Inquire and Enquire are two words that are often confused when it comes to their usage. They are often interchanged by mistake. Strictly speaking, there is difference between them. The word ‘inquire’ is used in the sense of ‘probe’. On the other hand, the word ‘enquire’ is used in the sense of ‘question’. This is the main difference between the two words.

Observe the two sentences,

1. He inquired into the matter.

2. She inquired into what happened on that day.

In both the sentences, you can find that the word ‘inquire’ is used in the sense of ‘probe’ and hence, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘he probed into the matter’, and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘she probed into what happened on that day’.

Observe the two sentences,

1. I enquired about his health.

2. She enquired about my welfare.

In both the sentences, you can find that the word ‘enquire’ is used in the sense of ‘question’ and hence, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘I questioned about his health’, and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘she questioned about my welfare’.

It is interesting to note that the word ‘enquire’ is normally followed by the preposition ‘about’ as you can see from the sentences mentioned above. On the other hand, the word ‘inquire’ is followed often by the preposition ‘into’. This is an important difference between the two words.

It should be known that the words ‘inquire’ and ‘enquire’ are used as verbs. They have their noun forms in the words ‘enquiry’ and ‘inquiry’. Thus, the terms ‘police enquiry’ and ‘police inquiry’ would mean ‘police questioning’ and ‘police probe’ respectively. These are the various differences between the two verbs, inquire and enquire.


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