Insure vs Ensure: Which Is It?

Every so often in English grammar, you run into words…

Every so often in English grammar, you run into words that look similar but have different meanings. Insure vs ensure are two such words. These words are not only similar in sound, but also similar in meaning. Yet, similar does not mean you should switch them.

The meaning of “Insure”

Having an insurance policy protects something or someone. To insure is to create this kind of agreement. This states that if something happens to the someone or something insured, the insurance company will compensate.

The meaning of “Ensure”

Ensure means to take precautions against something happening. To ensure something means to be on your guard against it.

Insure vs Ensure: How to Use Both Words in a Sentence

When you mean guarantee, you should use ensure. For example:

  • John must ensure that accurate records are kept.

Securing a sum of money in the event of loss or damage will require reserve insurance, so use insure in that case.

  • John insured the table for $2,000.

The reason people mix up insure and ensure is because they are homophones. These words are spelled differently, but they sound the same.

However, insure and ensure are not considered proper homophones in the United Kingdom. This is because in Britain, the vowel sounds are pronounced in a different way.

History of the Insure vs. Ensure debate

Contention between these two words and how they are used has a long history, going back to 1440.

The spelling variations insure and ensure were apparently prevalent throughout English for several hundred years. It was not surprising during this period to find them being used in the same way with the same meaning. Sometimes, even within the same sentence.

However, some persons believed this was messy. They began to disagree with this in the middle of the 19th century. Those that wrote dictionaries started to look for a better way of defining ensure and insure.

The Best Way to Teach the Difference Between Insure and Ensure

As an English teacher, here is one of the best way to have your students understand the difference between insure vs ensure. You have to teach them how to spell these words.

Once they can spell the words and understand that they are two different words. Then, you can request that they note the situations that they are used in. From this process, they should see that meanings are different.

Takeaways – Insure vs Ensure

Insure and ensure are homonyms. That means they sound the same, but they have different meanings.

Part of the confusion stems from the history of both words. At one time, they were both meant to convey the same thing. The confusion remained even when the meanings were officially separated.

When you are teaching, you want to make sure your students know the difference. First of all, encourage them to use each word appropriately.

For simplicity, think of insure as an adjective describing an action or condition. People take out insurance to protect their assets. Therefore, it is an adjective that is used to describe the action of doing something to protect your assets.

When it comes to safety, the adjective ensure is often used to describe it. You make sure someone is safe by ensuring the safety of his or her environment.

We hope this article helps you understand the difference now.

Frequently asked questions

How do you use insure in a sentence?

Insurance Policies for Sentences. She found it difficult to find a company that would cover her. Home security is an important part of their lives. Good planning will guarantee success.

What is the adjective of Ensure?

ensured. Past tense and past participle of assure are simple.

What is a noun for Ensure?

surety. Certainty. To ensure, to confirm, or to establish confidence or security.

How do you use insure and Ensure?

Use “insures” when referring to a specific idea of protection that has a policy attached to it, and use “ensures,” when relating to actions taken to guarantee a particular outcome. By example: “To protect my trip from additional fees,” I chose to insure it.

Is ensure a real word?

Verb (used with object), ensured, en*suring. Put your hearing at ease: This letter will help you secure a hearing. To be certain or to be certain: measures used to ensure the success of an undertaking. To protect from harm or make it secure.

Does insure mean make sure?

Make sure something happens, to guarantee it. Insure something or someone with an insurance policy.

Do Americans use the word ensure?

According to Penguin Writer’s Manual, ensure is generally used in active forms to mean “make (something) certain,” but also notes that insure is also often used in American English. When you say guarantee, you will use ensure.

What is Ensure good for?

ENSURE PLUS provides concentrated calories and protein to help people gain or maintain healthy weight. Patients who are malnourished, who are at risk for nutritional deficiencies, or who are experiencing involuntary weight loss may benefit from this treatment. For oral use.

What is the meaning of Ensure ‘?

The word ensure is defined as “to make sure, certain, or safe” and insure, “to take necessary precautions and to make sure,” is quite similar to the word.

Are insure and Ensure homophones?

Words that sound the same, but differ in meaning and spelling are homophones. As examples of confused words, homophones include Ensure and Insure. With proper ensure and insure, your writing will become clearer and more accurate.

What is the difference between ensured and assured?

As with insurance, both terms occur interchangeably. Insurance covers a limited period of time in contrast to assurance covering an extended period or until death.

How do you assure someone?

If someone you are caring for is feeling anxious or insecure, you may want to lift their spirits. Being present and showing concern can mean a lot. Send someone a message of your concern by simply being present, displaying kind gestures, and telling them how you feel.

What is the plural of Ensure?

1713. 3. 1. Due to the subject’s broad experience, it is also known as “ensures”.

What’s another word for insure?

Insure is a synonym of assurance, assurance, and secure.

Insure vs Ensure: Which Is It?

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

How to Write Great Dialogue That Your Readers Will Love

As a writer, there are times you’ll have to write dialogue in your essays or fiction. In such a case,…

May 26, 2022

Grammar Tips for Writers — Writing Compelling Content

Having a talent for writing, whether it’s writing academic essays or writing fiction is great. Talent will only take you…

May 26, 2022

Bad Grammar: Confusing Common Grammatical Errors to Prevent

As a writer, you can’t avoid errors due to bad grammar. However, making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad writer. What…

May 26, 2022

Possessives: boss’ or boss’s grammar

Boss’ or boss’s has been a topic of debate for a very long time. Schools typically teach that words ending…

May 26, 2022

“Were” Vs “Was”: Correct Use And Examples

Have you ever wondered which word fits into a sentence — were or was? You’re not alone. Were or Was:…

May 24, 2022

How to Improve Your Grammar By Speaking

Grammar can be confusing for many students learning English. Correct grammar is important to both your writing and speaking. Why…

May 24, 2022

The Best Grammar Checker For Your Essays

Use grammar checker for essays to check your writing for spelling and grammar errors. Why Use a Grammar Checker for…

May 24, 2022

Correctly Using Good & Better & Best!

One thing that throws off ESL students is irregular forms of comparative and superlative adjectives. Regular adjectives have a simple…

May 24, 2022

Best Free & Paid Grammar Checking Apps (2022)

One grammar error can undermine the entire piece you wrote. Students, freelance writers, and marketers use grammar checking software to…

May 24, 2022