Learn English – Can ‘enquire’ or ‘inquire’ be used without a preposition


I referenced Prepositions used with "inquire". I can't pinpoint why, but I'm still wildered about "to enquire of". When can of be omitted, but still retain the same meaning as "to enquire of"? Are there any similarities or differences between 'to enquire' and "to enquire of" ?

For example, how can the following Notice to Counsel at the US Supreme Court be rewritten using only "to enquire", without any succeeding prepositions?

"Counsel shall not inquire of the Chief Justice how much time remains."

Footnote: Reflecting American English, the foregoing quote above uses 'inquire', but I am guessing that here, it means the same as 'enquire'.

Best Answer

@medica's comment is correct. "Enquire" or "inquire" are not used without a preposition:

One usually inquires of, about, if, into, after, etc. But unless inquire(d) is at the end of a sentence, it is not used without a preposition. Inquire and enquire are not used with a direct object; 'ask' is.