4

Can I use "to inquire" with an indirect object and does its meaning change in this following sense, to ask information, whether I use "as to/ about" because the prepositions used with it change its meaning. I wonder if there is a difference between simply "to inquire" and " inquire about" in American English especially?

The CEO inquired the account manager (as to/about) why there is a deficit in the annual budget at the end of the year. However, because he could not get a good answer, he appointed a committee in order to inquire into the records.

or

In case the product you bought have not arrive in a time that it should have so you tell your friend:

I will inquire Amazon as to whether they will able send the products before new year.

May I inquire (as to) why you need this information?


I read an useful thread on ELU so I know prepositions used with it changes its meaning besides it can have different uses in different countries.

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The ELU question you link seems pretty comprehensive, so I'm not sure what else you'd like us to add. I can mention that, in my experience (AmE), when asking someone (about something) rather than the naked inquire, the more common use is "to inquire of":

The CEO inquired of the account manager

I will inquire of Amazon ...

On the other hand, "May I inquire why you need this information?" is perfectly fine.

Keep in mind that while you can use "inquire" in many situations, sometimes it can sound overly formal (as in your example about the committee). Similarly if you say you are going to, "inquire of Amazon why your package is late," it can sound odd, since most people would just ask Amazon. A friend might joke that it sounds like you are going to gather a subcommittee and launch a formal investigation.

Again, not wrong, and possibly perfectly reasonable in BrE. AmE tends to be less formal.

1

If you want to use an indirect object, use 'query' instead.

The CEO queried the account manager (as to/about) why there is a deficit in the annual budget at the end of the year. However, because he could not get a good answer, he appointed a committee in order to inquire into the records.

I will query Amazon as to whether they will able send the products before new year.

Query (MW transitive verb, definition 1)

to ask questions of especially with a desire for authoritative information

1

No. Inquire is not used that way. At least not anymore. From Google's NGram Viewer, it appears that it used to be used that way. However, it has fallen out of fashion and would definitely sound odd to a native speaker

0

Short answer: "Inquire", "inquire as to" and "inquire about" all have similar enough meanings to be used interchangeably.

Long answer: But which one you use depends on the object. See examples here.

Short answer: "Inquire into" means something a little bit different, though.

Long answer: "Inquire into" is the action of inquiring about, inquiring as to, and inquiring. See the example sentences for "inquire into" here.

  • 1
    Thank you .I had already checked them out before I asked question. – Mrt Dec 22 '16 at 11:39
  • @Mrt Nice. Power of the post. – Teacher KSHuang Dec 22 '16 at 11:55
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Actually, to inquire with someone, something, and to request from someone (or to be requested from someone) to do something.

The CEO inquired with (1) the account manager why there will be (2) a deficit in the annual budget at the end of the year. However, as (3) he wasn't getting (4) a good answer, he requested (5) from a committee he appointed himself (6), to look into the records.

*

I will inquire with Amazon as to whether they will able send the products before new year.

*

May I inquire with you why you need this information?

*

(1): To inquire with anything and everything (including with natives why they have been assuming whomever they heard talk, was correct grammatically speaking.)

(2): Will be - Future

(3): Because is used with a subordinate clause.

(4): The idiomatic expression Not To get a good answer is not a good match with could, style-wise. You could say "as he couldn't be provided with an answer he found to be satisfying," or you can keep the current style, which works as well.

(5) To request from someone to do something ( usually, an order).

(6) Reflexive pronoun, to tell and emphasize on the self-initiated decision and action. So it is a grammar rule.

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