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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


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
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


also enquire
1. To put a question to (someone):
2. To go into or through for the purpose of making discoveries or acquiring information:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


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.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


, 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
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


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
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995



(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


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
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
He therefore dined very silently, in spite of the officious attention of his host, who presented himself two or three times to inquire if he wanted anything.
Franz and Albert had brought to Rome letters of introduction to them, and their first question on his arrival was to inquire the whereabouts of his travelling companion.
When Anna returned with the album, he was already gone, and Stepan Arkadyevitch was telling them that he had called to inquire about the dinner they were giving next day to a celebrity who had just arrived.
There was nothing either exceptional or strange in a man's calling at half-past nine on a friend to inquire details of a proposed dinner party and not coming in, but it seemed strange to all of them.
"Forgive me," said Raoul, arresting the giddy girl, and giving to his voice an intonation, the gravity of which contrasted with that of Montalais; "forgive me, but may I inquire the name of the protector you speak of; for if protection be extended towards you, Mademoiselle Montalais, -- for which, indeed, so many reasons exist," added Raoul, bowing, "I do not see that the same reasons exist why Mademoiselle de la Valliere should be similarly cared for."
Besides this, I observed that the men made no scruple to set themselves out, and to go a-fortunehunting, as they call it, when they had really no fortune themselves to demand it, or merit to deserve it; and that they carried it so high, that a woman was scarce allowed to inquire after the character or estate of the person that pretended to her.
Also in one place more where he went, the woman had the courage, however strange it was, to say No; and he could try nowhere but he was reproached with his pride, and that he pretended not to give the women leave to inquire into his character, and the like.
This being my case, I, who had a subtle game to play, had nothing now to do but to single out from them all the properest man that might be for my purpose; that is to say, the man who was most likely to depend upon the hearsay of a fortune, and not inquire too far into the particulars; and unless I did this I did nothing, for my case would not bear much inquiry.
He directed to inquire about the matter and said that action will be initiated by identifying the responsible person.
Raja (CPI MP) for calling to inquire about Thalaivar Kalaignar's health.
Inquire allows on-the-spot, real-time communication, documentation, collaboration and evaluation, resulting in a seamless workflow and increased productivity.
Inquire Biology incorporates multiple technologies from the field of artificial intelligence.