Have you seen the words 'assure,' ‘ensure,' ‘insure’ and wondered what the difference is? We’ll cover that in this article, plus teach you how to pronounce both words and how to use them both in a sentence correctly.
Need a short answer?
Here it is:
- ‘Ensure’ is a verb that means to make certain.
- ‘Insure’ is a verb that means to protect against risk by paying an insurance company.
- 'Assure' is a verb and it means to remove someone's doubts.
These words might sound similar when you say them out loud, but they have different meanings. Therefore, they should not be used interchangeably.
'Assure' vs. ‘Ensure’ vs. ‘Insure’ – What’s the Difference?
The difference between ‘ensure’ and ‘insure’ is:
- The former means to make certain, and
- The latter means to protect yourself against risk by paying for insurance through an insurance company.
They’re both verbs.
But what about assure?
Well, assure means:
- To remove someone’s doubts.
It’s similar to ‘ensure,’ because they both involve making someone certain of something.
In the U.S., there’s a drink called ‘Ensure’ that’s supposed to help ensure you have all the nutrients your body needs. It’s packed with nutrients and should assure you that you’re getting what you need from it based on the ingredients and nutrients added.
One of the most famous lines from the movie, Clerks, is:
'I assure you, we’re open.'
This line is meant to imply that the video store where ‘the clerks’ work is open.
‘Insure’ vs. ‘Ensure’ vs. ‘Assure’ – Which One is Right?
We’ve briefly gone over what each word means, but which one is the right one to use?
Well, it depends on the context.
Are you trying to convince someone of something? Then, use ‘assure.’
- ‘I assure you, I’m going to help you.’
Or are you trying to protect yourself against risk in some way? Then, use ‘insure’ as in a ‘health insurance’ company.
For example, an insurance salesperson might say to you:
- ‘Let’s get you insured.’
- ‘How can we help insure you today?’
Or are you trying to remove someone’s doubts? Then, use ‘ensure.’
For example, you might say:
- ‘We can ensure that you’ll have a safe flight.’
Definition of 'Assure': What Does 'Assure' Mean?
The Merriam-Webster definition of 'assure' is:
- To make sure or certain (convince)
- To inform positively
- To make certain the coming or attainment of (guarantee)
- To make safe (as from risks or against overthrow) or insure
- To give confidence to
Definition of ‘Ensure’: What Does ‘Ensure’ Mean?
The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘ensure’ is:
- To make sure, certain, or safe (guarantee).
Definition of ‘Insure’: What Does ‘Insure’ Mean?
The same dictionary defines ‘insure’ as:
- To provide or obtain insurance on or for or to contract to give or take insurance.
- It also means to make certain, especially by taking necessary measures and precautions.
Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Assure,' ‘Ensure’ and ‘Insure’
Are you wondering how to pronounce 'assure,' ‘ensure,’ and ‘insure’?
Here’s a short guide.
To pronounce 'assure' correctly, here's the phonetic spelling:
To pronounce ‘ensure’ correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling:
To pronounce ‘insure’ correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling:
How to Use 'Assure,' ‘Ensure’ and ‘Insure’ in a Sentence
Now that we know what both words mean and how to pronounce them, let’s see some examples of how to use them in sentences.
- I can assure you that these packages will be delivered promptly on time.
- We assure you that you'll get to your destination on time. There's been a slight delay, but we're still on track to arrive to our destination on time.
- I don't need you to assure me of anything. I have complete faith and confidence in my natural skills and abilities.
- I can assure you that you won't be disappointed in this new movie. This might even be better than the first movie in the franchise.
- We can assure you that you'll get a full refund if you're not happy with the product after 30 days.
- My English teacher assured me that I'm on track to graduate. I just need to get my grades up in some of my other subjects and I'm out of here in June.
- I can ensure that your room will be ready upon your arrival. We’ll have the concierge bring your bags upstairs for you, and you’ll have a cup of tea waiting in the dining room for you.
- Mom ensured us that we’re going on holiday this month. We’re going to visit our American cousins. Isn’t that exciting?
- We must first ensure that you’re the right guest before we can check you in. Can you please provide a valid photo identification?
- We work to ensure the safety of all the people in the city. That’s why we work around the clock, 24/7/365.
- The first book he wrote ensured his success, which is rare for most writers. A lot of us have to write a few books to even gain a fan following.
- This new system ensures that there are no children left behind. Each child has their own profile and progress tracker, which allows teachers to see where each student is academically.
- I don’t think we can insure you based on your driving history. You’ll have to find another option when it comes to car insurance companies. I’m so sorry we couldn’t help you.
- I haven’t been insured since college, when I got kicked off my parents’ health insurance. This country has a huge problem when it comes to the healthcare industry.
- We decided to insure our house against fire damage since we live in an area that’s prone to forest fires. I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable with that at first, but I’ve decided that since we have insurance, we’ll be okay no matter what.
- We have to insure our car against damage every six months by paying for car insurance. I’m just wondering where all of the unused money goes when we don’t file a claim. Shouldn’t we get that money back?
- I found a company that agreed to insure me, despite my medical conditions. I have to fill out some paperwork and go in for a physical next week.
- He insured himself against failure by only treating the easiest patients with the easiest surgeries. But that wasn’t going to impress the chief of surgery and get him a promotion. He wasn’t going to compare to the other surgical residents.
Final Thoughts on ‘Ensure’ and ‘Insure’
To recap, we learned the following:
- ‘Ensure’ is a verb, and it means to make certain.
- ‘Insure’ is a verb, and it means to protect against risk by paying for insurance.
- 'Assure' is a verb and it means to remove someone's doubts.
Remember, these words might sound the same when you say them out loud, but they have different definitions. Therefore, you should not use them interchangeably.
If you ever get stuck on anything, you can always come back to review what you learned. We’ve also got an entire library of content on confusing words that you might want to check out. It’s got tons of useful information on other confusing words you might encounter during your journey to learning English.
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