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I referenced Prepositions used with "inquire". I can't pinpoint why, but I'm still wildered about "to enquire of". When can of be omitted, but still retain the same meaning as "to enquire of"? Are there any similarities or differences between 'to enquire' and "to enquire of" ?

For example, how can the following Notice to Counsel at the US Supreme Court be rewritten using only "to enquire", without any succeeding prepositions?

"Counsel shall not inquire of the Chief Justice how much time remains."

Footnote: Reflecting American English, the foregoing quote above uses 'inquire', but I am guessing that here, it means the same as 'enquire'.

  • Please note that you are asking about enquire in your question, but your quote mentions inquire. They are similar, but they are not the same verbs. I would, in case of your quote, use enquire though. – oerkelens Jun 16 '14 at 5:24
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    It's not. One usually inquires of, about, if, into, after, etc. But unless inquire(d) is at the end of a sentence, it is not used without a preposition. Inquire and enquire are not used with a direct object; 'ask' is. – anongoodnurse Jun 16 '14 at 5:24
  • Are you asking if "Counsel shall not inquire the Chief Justice how much time remains" is grammatical? – curiousdannii Jun 16 '14 at 5:55
  • @curiousdannii Yes, but moreover, why it's so? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jun 29 '14 at 2:33
  • @medica To what does "it's not" refer? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jun 29 '14 at 2:33
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@medica's comment is correct. "Enquire" or "inquire" are not used without a preposition:

One usually inquires of, about, if, into, after, etc. But unless inquire(d) is at the end of a sentence, it is not used without a preposition. Inquire and enquire are not used with a direct object; 'ask' is.

  • To what does "it's not" refer? Please elucidate in your answer and not in comments? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jun 29 '14 at 2:33
  • @LePressentiment: I clarified the answer. Does that help? – MrHen Jun 29 '14 at 3:16
  • Thank you. Sorry for the delay. Yes, but I clarified my OP. Would you please answer the reformatted questions? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Apr 21 '15 at 20:13
  • I'm sorry, your newly formatted version is very hard to understand. Are you asking why "inquire" is used differently than "act"? – MrHen Apr 22 '15 at 22:00
  • Yes. I'll try to reformat, but please feel free to edit my OP. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Apr 22 '15 at 22:25
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Of in this example is actually part of the direct object phrase "of the Chief Justice", specifying who the question is being directed to, rather than part of the verb enquire/inquire (which is essentially a synonym for ask).

Compare this use of of with to — in "I posed a question to the Chief Justice", to introduces the indirect object.

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    I'm not sure this answers the OP's question, which is Can enquire/inquire be used without a preposition? – anongoodnurse Jun 16 '14 at 5:30
  • Better after all the edits (mine and others')? – keshlam Jun 17 '14 at 0:41

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