Inquire?

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If an enterprise obtained the relevant information from an authority by inquiry

could I say, "the enterprise inquired the authority about the relevant information"?
New Member22
No, you can't use "inquire" like this. You could say:

"The enterprise asked the authority for the relevant information." -- This does not actually say that they obtained it, however. The authority may have refused. Note that you ask about a subject, but you ask for information.

"The enterprise obtained the relevant information from the authority." -- This normally implies that they obtained it in response to an inquiry or request, so you don't really need to say that separately.
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Mr. Wordy

Thanks for your reply.

I want to use the "inquire" to express "The enterprise asked the authority for the relevant information". How could I say?

For example, by inquiring with the authority, the enterprise learned that it had passed the examination. Is this sentence right? Could I use "inquire with" this way.

Could I use "inquire sb. about sth." or "inquire of sb. about sth."?
Hi Winkie. If Mr.Wordy don't mindEmotion: smile

Inquire is an intransitive verb, so it cannot take direct object.

Usuall forms are: inquire about / after / for.
winkie I want to use the "inquire" to express "The enterprise asked the authority for the relevant information". How could I say?
You can say: The enterprise inquired about/into giving them the authority for the relevant information.
The enterprise inquired about the authority for the relevant information.
(They asked about it and they were waiting for response. They, at that very moment, didn't receive or obtain the authority!).
winkieFor example, by inquiring with the authority, the enterprise learned that it had passed the examination. Is this sentence right? Could I use "inquire with" this way.
No. They made a request and waited for the repsonse. Inquire with is not used.
winkie Could I use "inquire sb. about sth." or "inquire of sb. about sth."?
No, you cannot.

Who are you? - he inquired of the first man....
The construction is only used with Direct Speech.
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winkie
I want to use the "inquire" to express "The enterprise asked the authority for the relevant information". How could I say?

For example, by inquiring with the authority, the enterprise learned that it had passed the examination. Is this sentence right? Could I use "inquire with" this way.

You do sometimes see "inquire with" used as you have above, but to me does not feel quite right. If you must use "inquire" followed by the person you're asking, then the traditionally correct form is "inquire of [somebody]". If you want to mention both the person you're asking and the thing you're asking about then the basic pattern is " ... inquire of X about Y ..." Though it's correct English, "inquire of" does, to me, sound rather formal, literary or even faintly old-fashioned.

The commonest use of "inquire" is "inquire about [something]", so you could use this and then try to also work in a separate mention of the person you're asking. For example, "The enterprise contacted the authority to inquire about [whatever it is]."

Edit: But you still have the problem, if you want to use "relevant information", that it's not very natural to inquire "about" information. All in all it seems a heck of a lot easier to use some other verb, such as "ask"!
winkieCould I use "inquire sb. about sth." or "inquire of sb. about sth."?
The first of these is incorrect. As Fandorin pointed out, "inquire" is always intransitive (except in rare or old-fashioned constructions such as "I inquired his name", which I don't recommend you emulate). The second is possible, as I mentioned above.
Fandorin
You can say: The enterprise inquired about/into giving them the authority for the relevant information.

The enterprise inquired about the authority for the relevant information.


Neither of these has the meaning that you want.
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Hi Mr.Wordy. Thank for correcting me. I might have misunderstood a little bit.

I took the "authority" as (one of the meanings, of course): the right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another. I guess it is rather similar to "clearance"= official authorization for something to proceed or take place.

If that's what I meant, can I say:
The enterprise/firm inquired about the authority [to get the right to carry arms].

The enterprise inquired about/into giving them the authority for information acquisition.
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Thank you both

I really appreciate your detailed explanation.
Fandorin
I took the "authority" as (one of the meanings, of course): the right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another. I guess it is rather similar to "clearance"= official authorization for something to proceed or take place.

Yeah, I see where you're coming from Fandorin; this is a common meaning of "authority". I've been basing my interpretation of what Winkie wants to say on his/her original post which reads "If an enterprise obtained the relevant information from an authority by inquiry...". Here "an authority" can only refer to a body in a position of power or authority.
Fandorin
If that's what I meant, can I say:

The enterprise/firm inquired about the authority [to get the right to carry arms].

This structure is possible, but you don't need "authority" as well as "right". You could say "The enterprise/firm inquired about the right to carry arms."
Fandorin
The enterprise inquired about/into giving them the authority for information acquisition.

If you intend "them" to refer to "the enterprise" then this sentence isn't right. If "them" refers to someone else (whose identity is clear from the prior context) then it's possible. In the former case you could instead say: "The enterprise inquired about obtaining (the) authority [to do something]." This is not the most elegant sentence ever written, but I guess it serves the purpose.
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Thank you, Mr.Wordy. I grasp it nice and clear Emotion: nodding
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