Inquire or enquire – which one is correct?

Inquire or enquire? Those verbs pose another example of words so similar that it might be difficult to believe they are both correct. Seems unlikely? Incorrect! Not only are these words similar in spelling, but their meanings and pronunciations are also identical. Why do we need both, then? Let’s resolve this mystery!

Inquire or enquire? Which form is correct meaning definition correct form difference examples

Inquire or enquire – meaning

Inquire or enquire? Both inquire and enquire are more formal synonyms to the verbs ask and investigate. They are a part of a phrasal verb to inquire/ enquire into, referring to an attempt to find out the truth about something.

Inquire or enquire – what’s the difference?

Even though they are predominantly used interchangeably, the Brits do distinguish between them. In the United Kingdom, the verb inquire refers to formal situations, such as an investigation. Enquire, on the other hand, means to ask a question that does not require a thorough answer or explanation. The verb inquire is used in the USA, where it covers all the cases mentioned above.

Inquire or enquire? Examples of inquire and enquire in sentences

“Witnesses reported that supervisors and managers inquired about what questions DOJ personnel had asked and specifically discouraged staff members from speaking with DOJ,” the report added.

Scott Fallon, Thao Nguyen, USA TODAY

Government investigators were yesterday sent in to inquire into allegations that Britain’s largest tobacco company has secretly been involved in cigarette smuggling.

Marie Woolf, UK Independent

Schools are full of interesting books, objects, images and music that will stimulate rich enquiries; anything that raises questions for you is bound to raise questions for children.

Lisa Naylor, The Guardian

We currently don’t ship worldwide because of that, but I do have a lot of customers that enquire about international shipping.

Alka Prasad, The New Zealand Herald

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Student of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw. Enthusiast of books, movies, and music. In her free time, she rides a bike, swims, and goes for walks. In the future, she dreams of a career as a translator.