Is it enquiry or inquiry?

There is always the difficulty of recognising American English spellings and British English spellings with words like these.

Whether we like it or not, much of our language is now heavily influenced by American English spellings.

British English uses both ‘enquiry’ and ‘inquiry’, but not in the same way as American English, which favours the ‘i’ spelling.

Enquiry

‘To enquire’ means to request information/look into. From this comes the noun ‘the/an enquiry’.

Examples:

  • We ought to make some enquiries about getting our work vetted by Future Perfect.
  • They enquired about the football match.
  • She enquired about his health.

Inquiry

This is favoured in English only when talking of investigations.

Example:

  • There will be an inquiry into this riot.