Oh, inquiry and enquiry, the continuous struggle over which to use, and what is the difference, especially when learning English.
First, of all, they are both strong words that are much more advanced and higher-level vocabulary in place of lower-level words, such as looking or asking, so it’s great to put them in practice in your everyday language.
However, you may not have noticed there was a difference at all between inquiry and enquiry until you saw them spelled in front of you, because they sound almost identical.
The truth is, their definitions are pretty much the same. Inquiry and enquiry are one of those examples in which the British English differs from American English.
Enquiry is often used in British English, whereas inquiry is used in the United States.
- Inquiry: to seek, ask, or investigate something.
- Enquiry: to seek, ask, or investigate something.
Sentence Examples (Inquiry VS Enquiry):
- The woman inquired of her child’s grades, wanting to know if her son’s GPA went up in the last month.
- The woman enquired of her child’s grades, wanting to know if her son’s GPA went up in the last month.
- Sherlock Holmes conducted a full inquiry into the whereabouts of the missing girl.
- Sherlock Holmes conducted a full enquiry into the whereabouts of the missing girl.
- If anyone inquires of me, please tell him or her I’m not home.
- If anyone enquires of me, please tell him or her I’m not home.
So, now you know the confusion between inquire and enquiry, and how in fact, they are so similar, you can use them interchangeably.
So, feel free to use either one, perhaps based on where you’re located, but it shouldn’t create too much confusion if you decide to use one over the other.