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v. in·quired, in·quir·ing, in·quires
1. To seek information by asking a question: inquired about prices.
2. To make an inquiry or investigation: inquire into the extent of the corruption.
1. To ask, especially politely or formally: The host inquired why we were leaving so soon. See Synonyms at ask.
2. To ask questions about (something); investigate or analyze: economists inquiring whether markets behave differently during a recession.
Phrasal Verb:
inquire after
To ask about the health or condition of (someone).

[Middle English enquiren, from Old French enquerre, from Vulgar Latin *inquaerere, alteration of Latin inquīrere : in-, into; see in-2 + quaerere, to seek.]

in·quir′er n.
in·quir′ing·ly adv.


(ɪnˈkwaɪə) or


a. to seek information; ask: she inquired his age; she inquired about rates of pay.
b. (foll by of) to ask (a person) for information: I'll inquire of my aunt when she is coming.
2. (often foll by: into) to make a search or investigation
[C13: from Latin inquīrere from in-2 + quaerere to seek]
inˈquirer, enˈquirer n



also enquire

v. -quired, -quir•ing. v.i.
1. to seek information by questioning; ask: to inquire about a person.
2. to make investigation (usu. fol. by into): to inquire into the incident.
3. to seek to learn by asking: to inquire a person's name.
4. inquire after, to ask about the well-being of (someone not present).
[1425–75; late Middle English < Latin inquīrere to search out, investigate =in- in-2 + quaerere to seek; replacing Middle English enqueren < Old French enquerre < Medieval Latin *inquarere]
in•quir′a•ble, adj.
in•quir′er, n.
in•quir′ing•ly, adv.


1. 'inquire' and 'enquire'

If you inquire or enquire about something, you ask for information about it. There is no difference in meaning between these words. Inquire is more common, especially in American English.

We inquired about the precise circumstances surrounding the arrest.
I enquired about the scenery and Beaumont told me it was being built in a carpenter's shop in Waterloo.

You can use inquire or enquire with a 'wh'-clause.

She inquired how Ibrahim was getting on.
I enquired what kind of aircraft he had commanded before returning home.

In writing, inquire and enquire are sometimes used in quote structures.

'Anything you need?' inquired the girl.
'Who compiles these reports?' Philip enquired.

Be Careful!
You do not use these verbs with a direct object. You do not say, for example, 'He inquired her if she was well'.

2. 'ask'

Inquire and enquire are fairly formal words. In conversation, people usually use ask. Ask can be used with or without a direct object.

She asked about his work.
I asked him what he wanted.


Past participle: inquired
Gerund: inquiring

I inquire
you inquire
he/she/it inquires
we inquire
you inquire
they inquire
I inquired
you inquired
he/she/it inquired
we inquired
you inquired
they inquired
Present Continuous
I am inquiring
you are inquiring
he/she/it is inquiring
we are inquiring
you are inquiring
they are inquiring
Present Perfect
I have inquired
you have inquired
he/she/it has inquired
we have inquired
you have inquired
they have inquired
Past Continuous
I was inquiring
you were inquiring
he/she/it was inquiring
we were inquiring
you were inquiring
they were inquiring
Past Perfect
I had inquired
you had inquired
he/she/it had inquired
we had inquired
you had inquired
they had inquired
I will inquire
you will inquire
he/she/it will inquire
we will inquire
you will inquire
they will inquire
Future Perfect
I will have inquired
you will have inquired
he/she/it will have inquired
we will have inquired
you will have inquired
they will have inquired
Future Continuous
I will be inquiring
you will be inquiring
he/she/it will be inquiring
we will be inquiring
you will be inquiring
they will be inquiring
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been inquiring
you have been inquiring
he/she/it has been inquiring
we have been inquiring
you have been inquiring
they have been inquiring
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been inquiring
you will have been inquiring
he/she/it will have been inquiring
we will have been inquiring
you will have been inquiring
they will have been inquiring
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been inquiring
you had been inquiring
he/she/it had been inquiring
we had been inquiring
you had been inquiring
they had been inquiring
I would inquire
you would inquire
he/she/it would inquire
we would inquire
you would inquire
they would inquire
Past Conditional
I would have inquired
you would have inquired
he/she/it would have inquired
we would have inquired
you would have inquired
they would have inquired
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.inquire - inquire aboutinquire - inquire about; "I asked about their special today"; "He had to ask directions several times"
communicate, intercommunicate - transmit thoughts or feelings; "He communicated his anxieties to the psychiatrist"
ask - direct or put; seek an answer to; "ask a question"
pry - be nosey; "Don't pry into my personal matters!"
confer with, consult - get or ask advice from; "Consult your local broker"; "They had to consult before arriving at a decision"
ask - address a question to and expect an answer from; "Ask your teacher about trigonometry"; "The children asked me about their dead grandmother"
2.inquire - have a wish or desire to know something; "He wondered who had built this beautiful church"
query, question - pose a question
request - inquire for (information); "I requested information from the secretary"
3.inquire - conduct an inquiry or investigation of; "The district attorney's office investigated reports of possible irregularities"; "inquire into the disappearance of the rich old lady"
spy - secretly collect sensitive or classified information; engage in espionage; "spy for the Russians"
probe, examine - question or examine thoroughly and closely


verb ask, question, query, quiz, seek information of, request information of He inquired whether there had been any messages left for him.
inquire into something investigate, study, examine, consider, research, search, explore, look into, inspect, probe into, scrutinize, make inquiries into Inspectors inquired into the affairs of the company.


also enquire
1. To put a question to (someone):
2. To go into or through for the purpose of making discoveries or acquiring information:
dotázat seinformovat seinformovat se napoptávat se popozeptat se na
efterforskeforespørgeforhøre sigforhøre sig omspørge
megérdeklődikvizsgálatot folytat
grennslast fyrir umgrennslast fyrir um, rannsakaspyrja umspyrjast fyrir um
apjautātiesievākt ziņasjautātpētīt
informovať sapýtať savypytovať savyšetrovať
araştırmakbilgi edinmekhâl ve hatırını sormakistemeksormak
hỏi thông tintìm hiểu


A. VTpreguntar
to inquire sth of sbpreguntar algo a algn
to inquire when/whetherpreguntar cuándo/si ...
he inquired the pricepreguntó cuánto costaba
B. VIpreguntar
to inquire about sthpreguntar por algo, informarse de algo
I am inquiring about your advertisement in today's paper (by phone) → llamo para preguntar acerca de su anuncio en el periódico de hoy
to inquire after or for or about sbpreguntar por algn
she inquired after your healthpreguntó por tu salud, preguntó qué tal andabas de salud
to inquire into sthinvestigar or indagar algo
I shouldn't inquire too closely if I were youyo que tú no haría demasiadas preguntas
"inquire within"infórmese en el interior
"inquire at No. 14"razón: en el no 14


vise renseigner
If you need help, inquire within → Si vous avez besoin d'aide, renseignez-vous à l'intérieur.
to inquire about sth → se renseigner sur qch
I'm going to inquire about train times → Je vais me renseigner sur les horaires des trains.
vtdemander, s'enquérir (formal)
"Is something wrong?" he inquired → "Quelque chose ne va pas?" demanda-t-il., "Quelque chose ne va pas?" s'enquit-t-il.
to inquire when ... → demander quand ...
to inquire where ... → demander où ...
to inquire whether ... → demander si ...
inquire after
vt fus [+ person] → s'enquérir de, demander des nouvelles de
to inquire after sb's health → s'enquérir de la santé de qn
inquire into
vt fus [+ death] → enquêter sur; [+ allegation, complaint] → enquêter sur
A commission has been set up to inquire into allegations of government abuses of power → Une commission a été nommée pour enquêter sur des allégations d'abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement.


, enquire
vt the time, a name, the waysich erkundigen nach, fragen nach; to inquire something of somebodysich bei jdm nach etw erkundigen; he inquired what/whether/when etcer erkundigte sich or fragte, was/ob/wann etc
visich erkundigen (about nach), fragen (about nach, wegen); “inquire within”„Näheres im Geschäft


1. vt to inquire when/where/whetherdomandare quando/dove/se
to inquire sth of sb → domandare qc a qn
2. vi to inquire (about sth)informarsi (di or su qc), chiedere informazioni (su qc)
inquire after vi + prep (person) → chiedere di; (sb's health) → informarsi di
inquire into vi + prepindagare su, svolgere delle indagini su



(inˈkwaiə) verb
1. to ask. He inquired the way to the art gallery; She inquired what time the bus left.
2. (with about) to ask for information about. They inquired about trains to London.
3. (with after) to ask for information about the state of (eg a person's health). He enquired after her mother.
4. (with for) to ask to see or talk to (a person). Someone rang up inquiring for you, but you were out.
5. (with for) to ask for (goods in a shop etc). Several people have been inquiring for the new catalogue.
6. (with into) to try to discover the facts of. The police are inquiring into the matter.
inˈquiry ( American also ˈinkwəri) , enˈquiry (American also ˈenkwəri) plural inquiries, ~enquiries noun
1. (an act of) asking or investigating. His inquiries led him to her hotel; (also adjective) All questions will be dealt with at the inquiry desk.
2. an investigation. An inquiry is being held into her disappearance.
make inquiries
to ask for information.


يَسْأَلُ عَنْ, يَسْتَعْلِمُ عَنْ dotázat se, informovat se forespørge erkundigen (sich) διευρενώ, ερευνώ indagar, inquirir tiedustella demander pitati, upitati chiedere, domandare 問い合わせる, 尋ねる 문의하다 navragen forespørre, spørre dowiedzieć się, zasięgnąć informacji averiguar, informar-se осведомляться, спрашивать efterfråga, fråga ไต่ถาม, ถามคำถาม araştırmak, soruşturmak hỏi thông tin, tìm hiểu 查究, 询问
References in classic literature ?
Perhaps curiosity might have conquered resentment, if Beth had not been there to inquire and receive a glowing description of the play.
Enough of this," said Heyward, impatiently; "I wish not to inquire into the character of a man that I know, and to whom you must be a stranger.
Looking aside at Clifford's face, and seeing the dim, unsatisfactory elegance and the intellect almost quenched, she would try to inquire what had been his life.
But now, should you go thither to seek him, you would inquire in vain for the Locofoco Surveyor.
With anxious grapnels I had sounded my pocket, and only brought up a few pieces of silver, --So, wherever you go, Ishmael, said I to myself, as I stood in the middle of a dreary street shouldering my bag, and comparing the gloom towards the north with the darkness towards the south --wherever in your wisdom you may conclude to lodge for the night, my dear Ishmael, be sure to inquire the price, and don't be too particular.
We must needs inquire then on what principle the Sovereign is originally invested with that right.
I heard my master say to a gentleman who stopped him to inquire, that he hoped no bones were broken, but that she had not spoken yet.
There were all sorts of things they had made up their minds to inquire about, but when the time came, they either forgot them or lacked the courage.
Give out by driblets, and never inquire for odds and ends,--it isn't best.
Nobody could tell you how to find any place in the kingdom, for nobody ever went intentionally to any place, but only struck it by accident in his wanderings, and then gener- ally left it without thinking to inquire what its name was.
Another jay was going by, and heard him doing his devotions, and stops to inquire what was up.
Blamed if he didn't inquire about everybody and everything in that blessed town, and all about the Wilkses; and about Peter's business -- which was a tanner; and about George's -- which was a carpenter; and about Har- vey's -- which was a dissentering minister; and so on, and so on.