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Inquire vs. Enquire: When to Use Enquire vs. Inquire with Useful Examples


Inquire vs. enquire! Among the list of commonly confused wordsthere are some pairs of words that can be used interchangeably because they mean pretty much the same thing. This is the case with inquire vs. enquire: these words are very similar in both spelling and meaning. Even though there are some minor differences that you should pay attention to, in many cases, using one word or the other would not make any difference.

Inquire vs. Enquire

Traditionally, ENQUIRE meant “to ask” and INQUIRE meant “to formally investigate”. In the modern world, however, this distinction has become very difficult to notice. Still, in the United States, the spelling that is always preferred, regardless of which meaning you’re putting into the word, is inquire. As for British English, inquire is a word used more commonly but generally, both can replace one another in a sentence.


  • I did not inquire about the reason for his lateness.
  • He called me aside to inquire after my daughter.
  • I must enquire further into this matter.
  • Please enquire when making your booking.

When to Use Inquire vs. Enquire

So, inquire is the word that you’ll come across very often, especially in American English, and it’s synonymous with verbs “to ask” and “to investigate”. For example, you could go to one of your neighbors and inquire about whether they can lend you some sugar. It can also be used if you’re talking about more formal, official investigations. So, you could say that you talked to the mayor and asked him to inquire into the matter of new and better roads.

Enquire has the same meaning. For instance, you could go to your manager and enquire about whether you’ll be able to leave work early tomorrow. Still, it’s worth noting that enquire is very rarely used when referring to official investigations. If this is the meaning you want your verb to have, go for inquire.

Enquire vs. Inquire Examples

  • I must inquire after my sick friend.
  • I rang up to inquire about train times.
  • The investigation will inquire into the company’s financial dealings.
  • You can inquire of your new neighbors where the post office is.
  • I am writing to inquire about subscribing to your magazine.
  • He decided to inquire about special foods Suh might like.
  • To enquire about tickets, phone the number below.
  • Might I enquire why you have not mentioned this until now?
  • We endeavoured to enquire from a black policeman.
  • He will enquire about the damages after the investigation.
  • She wrote to enquire the cause of the delay.
  • Please enquire within or visit us at our website.

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