Have you ever found yourself stumbling over two confusing words in English while trying to express something? Well, English is a precise language that has multiple words with similar, if not almost identical, meanings. Therefore, for any writing in English, especially in academic writing, the devil lies in the details, i.e., using the correct word. Ensuring your manuscript is written in polished English is what will make your research stand out, which can also increase your chances of acceptance. Two words that are often confused by authors are insure and ensure. The difference between insure and ensure is something that makes most researchers scratch their heads. Let’s understand how and when to use insure vs ensure correctly through this article.
What is the difference between insure and ensure?
When you say you want to insure something or someone, you mean you are arranging compensation in case of loss or damage. Ensure, on the other hand, means that you want to make something certain or guarantee it.
When to use insure
Use insure when you want to convey that you’re paying for an insurance policy — an agreement that provides financial compensation resulting from damage or loss1. For example:
- You should insure your travel to prevent expensive medical bills.
- Some thieves broke into the house next door. Thankfully, they had insured their property beforehand.
- Insuring your car is a good idea if you rely on it for work.
Remember: The words ‘ensurance’ and ‘re-ensure’ don’t exist.
When to use ensure
Use ensure when you want to convey that something is sure to happen. It means you’re giving a guarantee2. For example:
- The team won their first game, ensuring they entered the next round of tournament.
- You must ensure that your research is free of grammatical errors.
- To ensure she gets a good score, Tia studies every day.
Insure vs. ensure examples
Here are some examples that will help you ascertain the difference between insure and ensure and how these two words should be used.
- Beyond the numbers, California’s electric vehicles policies are leading the way by ensuring that low-income communities benefit from zero tailpipe emissions.
- The grammar lessons didn’t prevent the students’ mistakes but ensured that they knew how to fix them.
- I didn’t know that people could insure their body parts until I came to know of some celebrities who do.
- It cost Amanda a lot of money to insure her old house, but I am glad she finally did it.
How to remember when to use insure vs. ensure
While writing, it may sometimes be difficult to remember the difference between insure and ensure. In such a scenario, make sure that you use insure when you exclusively mean to take out an insurance policy and ensure when you have a broader meaning of guaranteeing something. If still in doubt, remember,
- You insure a house.
- You assure a person or animal.
- You ensure everything else.
The next time you find yourself confused, ensure that you come back and look at this article. We can’t promise to insure you against errors, but we sure can help you!
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- Dictionary.cambridge.org. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/insure
- Dictionary.cambridge.org. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/ensure