The traditional distinction between the verbs enquire and inquire is that enquire is to be used for general senses of ‘ask’, while inquire is reserved for uses meaning ‘make a formal ’.

Enquire和inquire这两个动词传统意义上的区别在于:Enquire的一般意义为“询问”,Inquire的含义为“做正式的调查”。

表示“询问”时:

In practice, however, enquire, and the associated noun enquiry, are more common in British English while inquire (and the noun inquiry) are more common in American English, but otherwise there is little discernible in the way the words are used. Some style guides require that only inquire or only enquire be used.

实际上,enquire和它的名词形式enquiry在英式英语中更常使用,而inquire和其名词形式inquiry在美式英语中更为常见。这两个单词在使用方式上并无其他明显的差别。在一些特殊场合中会要求只使用inquire或者enquire。

Could I enquire about your mother's health?

我可以询问下你母亲的健康状况么?

She inquired about the library's rare books collection.

她调查了图书馆稀有的藏书。

Every enquiry is very welcome.

欢迎每条咨询。

Adam helped the police with their inquiries.

亚当协助警方进行调查。

Both words derive from the Old French enquerre, from a variant of the Latin inquirere, based on quaerere 'seek'. The same root word can be seen in various modern English words, including acquire, require, conquer, quest, request, inquest, and question.

这两个单词均源自法语词汇enquerre,来源于一个拉丁词汇inquirere的变种,基于词汇quaerere(寻求)。现代英语词汇的很多单词均来源于这个词汇,包括acquire(获得),require(需要),conquer(征服),quest(追求),request(要求),inquest(审讯),和question(问题)。

小测验:选择最佳选项

1. Do you mind me to ____ about your salary?

inquire enquire

2. The police are ____ into the accident.

inquire enquire

答案:1. inquire/enquire 2. inquire

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