Inquiry vs Enquiry
Getting to know the difference between inquiry and enquiry becomes important due to the fact that inquiry and enquiry fall under the words in English language that connote almost similar meanings. As these words connote almost similar meanings, people use them almost interchangeably. Yet there are subtle differences in the meanings, mostly relating to the context in which the words are being used. As mentioned before, Inquiry and Enquiry are two such words which are used by Americans as being identical and they use any one of the either depending upon their liking. However, there is a lot of difference between Inquiry and Enquiry and those who grapple with the usage of these words will have correct knowledge after reading this article.
What does Inquiry mean?
The police are making an inquiry into the murder of the unidentified man.
Sounds ok, doesn’t it? What if enquiry were to be used in this sentence? It would sound silly. It is clear then that the word inquiry is used where a formal investigation is done or carried out to get to the root of a puzzle or a case.
The government has instituted an inquiry to get to the facts of embezzlement in the department.
Here, also you would find that there is a formal process of investigation being set in motion to get to find the culprits.
What does Enquiry mean?
Have you been to an airport or a railway station? There is invariably a counter with the word enquiry written over it. What does it mean? It means that you can get answers to whatever questions you have pertaining to train timings or fare, or arrival or departures of flights from this counter. Thus, you can enquire, or ask the person sitting behind the counter anything about the system that you do not know. If you are in a building for the first time and you do not know where the toilets are, you politely make an enquiry in this regard. You do not inquire, you enquire.
If you have some money of your pending with your employer, you can make a formal enquiry about when it will be released to you. However, if the employer says that you will get the money only after an inquiry is done to ascertain if they are in fact due, he is suggesting a formal investigation into the matter, whereas your enquiry is only in the form of a question.
Thus, it is clear that an enquiry is a quest for knowledge or information, whereas inquiry is also a quest but more in the form of a formal investigation.
What is the difference between Inquiry and Enquiry?
• It is clear then that the word inquiry is used where a formal investigation is done or carried out to get to the root of a puzzle or a case.
• An enquiry is a quest for knowledge or information, whereas inquiry is also a quest but more in the form of a formal investigation.
The two words are often used interchangeably, but those who are learned know the difference between inquiry and enquiry and use it appropriately.