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rex
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 9:53:53 AM
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Joined: 5/16/2011
Posts: 1
Neurons: 3
Location: Ghana
can somebody simply tell me on the difference or use of "inquiry" and "enquiry"
Feeble Dragonfly
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 10:30:25 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/10/2011
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To me, a BE speaker, enquiry is more informal, meaning to ask or question something -

eg "I enquired about the train times."

Inquiry is something more formal such as a a police inquiry, and inquest etc.

A quick search of google showed that this is an old distinction that is retained mostly in BE. Apparently the Oxford English Dictionarty describes the words as alternatives for the same meaning.

thar
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:37:54 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
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but you can be inquisitive but never enquisitive, there is no Spanish Enquisition, and no enquests

only for inquire, inquiry, is the alternative enquire, enquiry, a permitted alternative.

the roots are Latin "in + quærere" and French "enquérir" from old French "enquerre", so English gets a bit confused and refuses to choose sides.

most words have chosen one or the other, but some have a rare alternative (inveigle, tfd has enveigle which to BE is wrong!))and some sit on the fence (enquire, inquire)
raggie
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 12:53:18 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/18/2009
Posts: 71
Neurons: 171
Location: Türkiye, the City
The two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two. Enquiry means to ask a question, and inquiry is a formal investigation. Yet another difference lies in the etymological source of the prefixes ‘en’ and ‘in’. ‘En’ comes from French, and ‘in’ from Latin. Inquiry has a formal and official ring to it, while enquiry is informal in its connotation.

In spite of there being a clear distinction in the meanings of the two terms, people, more often than not, use them interchangeably. You could say that enquiry is a request for truth, knowledge or information, whereas an inquiry is an investigation into something.

Summary:

1. Enquiry means asking a question, and inquiry is a formal investigation.

2. The prefix ‘en’ comes from French, and ‘in’ from Latin.

3. Enquiry is a request for truth, knowledge or information, whereas an inquiry is an investigation into something.

4. Enquiry is preferred in British English, whereas the Americans are more comfortable with inquiry.

5. In spite of their being a clear distinction in the meanings of the two terms, people often use them interchangeably.
http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-enquiry-and-inquiry/
aldi09
Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 11:44:44 PM
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Joined: 3/14/2009
Posts: 16
Neurons: 48
Location: Ireland
In all my dictionaries there is no difference between these two words.
Anne0045
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011 5:44:32 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 5/17/2011
Posts: 3
Neurons: 9
Location: United States
The only difference between the two words is their spelling. Inquiry is American English spelling and enquiry is British English spelling. Their definition is the same.
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