Are you looking for an explanation of the difference between 'inquiry' vs. 'enquiry?' If so, this guide will help!
Here is a brief overview just in case you are in a hurry:
If you want to learn more about these terms and when you should use each, keep reading!
'Inquiry' and 'enquiry' are examples of dozens of English words that vary in spelling depending on whether you are using U.S. English or British English. However, their meanings are essentially the same.
Other examples of words with different U.S. and U.K. spellings are:
However, these terms also have a slightly different meaning in the United States. For example, some people use 'inquiry' for an official request for information or investigation into a public matter, and 'enquiry' for informal or formal requests.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'inquiry' is a noun that means:
It can also mean:
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Dictionary.com, and the Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of 'enquiry' is the U.K. spelling of the English term 'inquiry.'
However, Grammarly and several other grammar experts say that the meaning of 'enquiry' can also be an unofficial request for information.
Now, let's learn how to pronounce 'inquiry' and 'enquiry.' Pronunciation is often overlooked by people who are learning new words. However, learning to pronounce words accurately has many benefits.
It can help you remember the correct spelling, definition, and meaning of confusing terms like these and give you confidence to use them in conversations or when you are speaking publicly. So, here is a guide you can reference for pronouncing 'inquiry' vs. 'enquiry.'
You learned the difference between these terms and their definitions and pronunciations, but it may still be challenging to know when to use 'inquiry' vs. 'enquiry.' So, here are some tips that should help.
For example, you might say:
So, you could say:
I have an enquiry. Do you know John's favourite colour?
As an example, you might say:
This is an official inquiry into the current state of the public water system.
So, you might say:
Knowing which English style to use depends on the audience you are addressing. If you are writing for a European website, you would use the U.K. style. However, you also use it when addressing Canadian audiences.
If you are writing professionally, your client should provide you with a style guide that indicates the style they want you to use when creating their content. If you are unsure after reading the instructions and style guide, reach out to your editor and ask.
Here are some sample sentences using 'inquiry' vs. 'enquiry.' Read them to ensure that you know how to use each spelling accurately.
Congratulations! You finished the post. So, let's recap what you learned about 'inquiry' vs. 'enquiry.'
To be on the safe side, it is best to use 'inquiry' when you are writing for U.S. audiences, and 'enquiry' when you British English-style content. If you forget which spelling to use in the future, you can always return to this lesson for a quick review of this lesson.
You can also learn about hundreds of other terms in the confusing words here. So, if you have been wondering about the meanings of other English terms, check them out before you go.