Hello Students!

Together we are going to go learn how to correctly use and pronounce the words: ‘question’, ‘inquiry’, ‘enquiry’ and ‘query’.

These words are related to asking questions and it can often be confusing to know when it is appropiate to use each one.

Experts often disagree over the correct usage of these words, but we’re going to keep it simple. By following my straightforward guidelines, you will have the confidence to get these confusing words right every time.

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Today’s clear accent lesson: ‘When to use inquiry, enquiry and query’

In today’s lesson, we discover the differences between question words: question, inquiry, enquiry enquiries and query.

I will also provide handy examples for each word, so that you can confidently use these words.

Word 1 – Question

Preposition is ‘about’: ask a question about something.

May I ask you a question about something? I have a question about biology.

Noun example:

I asked my teacher a question.

Verb example: 

You question somebody to find out information. The police are questioning a suspect.

Word 2 – Inquiry: /ɪnˈkwaɪ.ə.ri/

Preposition is ‘into’: an inquiry into something.

A legal or governmental investigation into something.

Noun example: For serious things, there can be a governmental inquiry. For example, an inquiry into the Iraq War.

Verb example: “Inquire” – not commonly used in British English.

Word 3 – Enquiry: /ɪnˈkwaɪri/


Preposition is ‘about’: an enquiry about something is a formal and polite way of asking a question.

Noun example:

There’s a student on the phone who has an enquiry about the course dates.

Verb example:

May I enquire if you’ve got any rooms at the moment?

Word 4 – Enquiries

This word is the plural of “enquiry”. 

Noun example:

If you have any enquiries, send them to customer services.

Word 5 – Query


Preposition is ‘about’: a query about something.

‘Query’ is another word for question, but is used when expressing a doubt.

Noun example:

I have a query about the data on page six.

OK, there we are. Now we know the difference between these confusing, overlapping words to do with questions. You can use them with confidence in your business English.

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Thank you so much, students. Don’t forget to like the video, comment and subscribe if you haven’t done so already.

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Jade Joddle is a speech and voice teacher for high-level professionals. She teaches her non-native speaker clients to Speak Well so that they thrive and succeed.

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