Inquiry vs. Enquiry

Do you not know when to use inquiry vs enquiry? Use this page to discover inquiry vs enquiry examples. You can also use this page to learn the definition of inquiry vs enquiry.

Inquiry vs Enquiry : The Easy Explanation

The words “inquiry” and “enquiry” (and their other forms) are actually interchangeable and roughly mean a request for information or an examination of facts.

In the United States, “inquiry” is used more commonly than “enquiry”, although either form is technically correct.

In British English, “inquiry” is typically used to mean a formal investigation, while “enquiry” usually refers to the question or request itself.

When to Use Inquiry vs Enquiry

Learning when to use inquiry vs enquiry can be tough. Below is some good information and lessons on when to use inquiry vs enquiry.

The noun “inquiry” means a request for information or an examination of facts. The spelling of “inquiry” with an “i” is generally preferred in American English, with almost every style guide and dictionary giving preference to this spelling. Neither spelling: inquiry vs enquiry technically incorrect, however.
During the official inquiry, the attorney inquired about what caused the high-rise building to collapse.

The noun “enquiry” is used in British English to refer to a request for information (as in to ask). The noun “inquiry” usually is used to refer to a formal investigation.
During the official inquiry, the attorney enquired about what caused the high-rise building to collapse.

In casual writing, the key is to be consistent. If you use “inquiry”, use it consistently, rather than “enquiry” and vice versa.

Examples of Inquiry vs Enquiry

The following use American spelling preferences:

Inquiry vs Enquiry Example 1 : The inquiry into who mugged the school mascot was fruitless. (meaning a formal investigationinquiry

Inquiry vs Enquiry Example 2 : The Senator made an inquiry concerning the health of the voter’s mother. (meaning askedinquiry

Inquiry vs Enquiry Example 3 : A departmental enquiry sought to find how the fact error had entered the publication. (technically still not incorrect although not a common spelling for this purpose) enquiry

Inquiry vs Enquiry Example 4 : The police officer made an enquiry to the suspect on his whereabouts earlier that night. (not a commonly used spelling in the United States) enquiry

How to Remember the Difference: Inquiry vs Enquiry

To remember that inquiry is the preferred spelling in the United States, try to remember this sentence: I really should remember how INquire is spelled IN the States.