Difference Between Enquire and Inquire

Enquire vs Inquire
 

Inquire and Enquire are two words that have some difference between them, but are often confused when it comes to their usage. They are often interchanged by mistake. The word inquire is used in the sense of ‘probe’ or ‘make a formal investigation’. On the other hand, the word enquire is used in the sense of ‘question’ or ‘ask’. This is the main 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.

What does Inquire mean?

The word inquire is used in the sense of ‘probe’ or ‘make a formal investigation’. Observe the three sentences given below.

He inquired into the matter.

She inquired into what happened on that day.

The NYPD detective inquired about the murder.

In the first two 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’. On the last sentence, the word inquire is used in the sense ‘make a formal investigation.’ Therefore, the sentence would mean ‘the NYPD detective made a formal investigation about the murder.’ Unlike the word enquire, the word inquire is followed often by the preposition ‘into’. This is an important difference between the two words. Moreover, in practice inquire is more common in American English.

Difference Between Enquire and Inquire

What does Enquire mean?

The word enquire is used in the sense of ‘question’ or ‘ask’. Observe the two sentences given below.

I enquired about his health.

She enquired about my welfare.

In both the sentences, you can find that the word enquire is used in the sense of ‘question’ or ‘ask’ and hence, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘I questioned/asked about his health’, and the meaning of the second sentence would be ‘she questioned/ asked 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. Furthermore, in practice, enquire is more common in British English.

What is the difference between Enquire and Inquire?

• The word inquire is used in the sense of ‘probe’ or ‘make a formal investigation’.

• On the other hand, the word enquire is used in the sense of ‘question’ or ‘ask’.

• The word enquire is normally followed by the preposition ‘about.’

• The word inquire is followed often by the preposition1 ‘into’.

• In practice, inquire is more common in American English and enquire is more common in British English.

• Inquiry and enquiry are the noun forms of inquire and enquire respectively.

These are the various differences between the two verbs, inquire and enquire.