Could anyone explain the difference between inquire and enquire and which word to use in a specific situation. I have had a look at online dictionaries but I still don't quite get it, so could anyone give a simple explanation?


1 Answer 1


It is the same.

From wiktionary :


Alternative forms

enquire (chiefly British)

enquire is chiefly used by people from Britain while inquire is used by Americans.

As a french, I would say that enquire is more like asking with care (from s'enquérir in french) and inquire is like asking in order to make somebody confess (like inquisition).

The two forms came from the latin word inquirere.

  • 1
    I like @Yohann's French approach. I'm British-born and I also like to distinguish, using "enquire" for what you and I might do, keeping "inquire" for what authority might do. Directory Enquiries, therefore, but a Public Inquiry.
    – David Pugh
    Apr 21, 2015 at 14:00

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