Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

May one use inquire with instead of the somewhat overly official and potentially archaic inquire of?

It would be best if you could go through all the correct propositions commonly used with inquire with example sentences.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You inquire of someone.

"Where do you live?", he inquired of Mike.

You inquire about something.

He inquired about items for sale.

You use inquire after to ask about the health of (someone).

He inquired after his parents.

You use inquire for to ask to see or speak to (someone).

Mike was here inquiring for you.

You use inquire into to investigate or look into something.

The police are inquiring into the causes of recent political events.

And, you could inquire with people, freedom, power, respect, eagerness, etc.

"He will inquire with more earnestness, and decide with more impartiality."

"We inquire about, and we inquire with; we inquire about various objects of inquiry, and we inquire with fellow inquirers"

"And first we must inquire with respect to the moon, in what manner that motion blends relations or natures with the moon. But this we do not see prevail except in the monthly repairing of the moon, for the periodical course of six hours"

Ref. some definitions come from Oxford dictionary.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Enquire (or inquire, which is less frequent in British English) may be used with a few prepositions.

enquire about with the meaning of "to ask somebody for some information" as in the example I called the station to enquire about train times.

enquire into with the meaning of "to officially investigate" as in A committee will enquire into the allegations.

enquire after somebody (formal) with the meaning of "to ask for information about somebody" (especially about their health or about what they are doing), as in *Auntie Jane called this afternoon and enquired after you."

P.S. all the examples are to be found here, where you can also find an example of "enquire of". I haven't found any example of the usage "enquire with"

share|improve this answer
add comment

The synonym of inquire is "to ask." This is why the most common Prepositions attached to it are "about," "into," "after," and "for."

"Inquire of" is indeed used with the specific meaning of directing the query to a person e.g. I'll inquire of my aunt...

But I don't think it's a good idea to substitute "with" there.

I suppose in another situation, such as inquiring together with or as a part of, "inquire with" can be employed.

If you believe the expression is "overly official" and "potentially archaic," I'd suggest not only changing the Preposition but practicing an altogether different word: "ask" instead.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.