This is part of the difference between series.
Recently, someone asked me to explain difference between the words enquire and inquire. Here’s the difference between the two.
Enquire traditionally refers to the general sense of asking for something.
- I’m enquiring about the job you posted in the paper.
- Have you enquired about your father’s test results?
Inquire, on the other hand, traditionally refers to a formal investigation.
- The police chief launched an inquiry into the death of four of her officers.
- Ms. President, have you started the inquiry you promised during your campaign?
Now, all that being said, English is a living, fluid language, and the meaning of words sometimes changes over time. This is one of those times. The traditional difference between enquiry and inquiry is slowly eroding, and functionally, these two words mean the same thing. Very few people — except the most pedantic and the diehard prescriptivists — would differentiate between the two words.
There is one slight difference: British speakers tend to favour enquire, and Americans tend to favour inquire.
Which words do you confuse? Let me know in the comments below.
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