Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Inquiry and Investigation

Inquiry vs Investigation

Man acquires knowledge through observation, inquiry, and investigation into things that interest him. In every aspect of his life, he uses these tools to provide him with information about everything in his world, especially the processes of inquiry and investigation.

Through inquiry and investigation he is able to learn about his past, his body, and about the things in his surroundings including all that has happened in the past and all that is still happening in his environment. They are very important especially in scientific studies to provide researchers information and knowledge about the subject of their research. In law, specifically criminal law as well as in police work, investigation is necessary to allow the uncovering of facts about a case.

“Inquiry” is defined as “the systematic search for information, knowledge and truth about certain things and matters of public interest.” It is the process of solving a problem through researching and probing. It involves questioning and interrogation. It is aimed not only at searching for and acquiring knowledge and information about something, but it is also meant to settle any doubt that individuals may have on the subject.

The word “inquiry” comes from the base word “inquire” which is derived from the Old French word “enquerre” meaning “to ask.” It, in turn, comes from the Latin words “in” (into) and “quaerere” (ask or seek). Its first known use was in the 15th century.

“Investigation,” on the other hand, is defined as the process of inquiring into something thoroughly. It is the systematic examination and scrutiny of the factors that have affected the subject of the investigation in order to uncover facts regarding the matter. It is synonymous with the words; examine, inquire, explore, probe, dig or delve into, and research. It comes from the Latin word “investigatus” which is the past participle of “investigare” meaning “to track or investigate.” Its first known use was in the early 16th century.

“Inquiry” and “investigation” can be used in lieu of each other since they are synonyms and mean the same thing although they have some very subtle differences. An inquiry involves investigation and an investigation involves inquiry.

One difference is how they are handled. While an inquiry is usually done through questioning and probing into the circumstances relating to the matter at hand, an investigation is done more carefully and by thoroughly inspecting details in an organized manner and assessing facts which are uncovered in the process.


1.“Inquiry” is the process of searching for knowledge and information about a problem through asking questions and probing while “investigation” is the organized process of inquiring about a problem through inspection and assessment.
2.Both an inquiry and an investigation may be used interchangeably, but an investigation is a more lengthy process than an inquiry.
3.An investigation involves an inquiry and vice versa; inquiries may be done not as painstakingly thorough as that of an investigation.
4.“Inquiry” comes from the Latin words “in” (into) and “quaerere” (ask or seek) while “investigation” comes from the Latin word “investigatus” (to track).

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1 Comment

  1. nice but wish you talked more about investigative inquiries

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