Difference Between Assure and Ensure (With Table)

There are several words in the English dictionary that often confuse even native English speakers in terms of their usage. One such pair is “assure” and “ensure”. Although both the words have been derived from the Latin word “securus” which means “safe,” both cannot be used in the same context or in place of each other.

Assure vs Ensure

The difference between “assure” and “ensure” is that the basic meaning of “assure” is to inform a person confidently about something that is indeed true, in order to prevent the person from worrying about it. For example, “The CEO assured his employees that their jobs are secure.” Ensure means to make sure something will happen. For example, “The airline has taken proper steps to ensure timely departure and arrival of all their flights.”

It will not be wrong to say that assure is used when you wish to make a kind of promise to another person with regards to something in order to help the other person overcome doubts or anxiety. You may say that ensure is used when you wish to make sure that things will either happen or not happen irrespective of any situation.


 

Comparison Table Between Assure and Ensure (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonAssureEnsure
DefinitionIt is a promise to a person about a situation or something in order to gain his trust and to get rid of any worries or doubts from his mind.It is a type of guarantee to someone in terms of something that will surely happen or not happen no matter what the situation is.
Refers toIt refers to a person.It refers to a situation.
Used toAssure is mainly used to relieve someone of his doubts or to convince someone about something.Ensure is mainly used as a guarantee to a person about something that will surely either happen or not happen irrespective of the situation.
ExampleShe assured me that she would never cheat during her exams.I ensure you that your child will be fine with us.

 

What is Assure?

If you want to put it in simple words, “assure” is used in situations wherein you need to get rid of a person’s doubts. For example, your child may think that he will not be allowed to play out with his friends once he returns after school.

In such a case, you can convince him and clear his doubt by saying, “I assure you that you will be allowed to play once you finish your homework.”

When it comes to the origin of the word assure, there are different views on the topic. Some believe that it derived its existence from the old French word “asseurer” that means to calm, render, protect, and reassure.

On the other hand, some believe that it derived from the old Latin word “assecurar” which means safe and secure.

 

What is Ensure?

When you use the word ensure, you practically use it as a word of guarantee pertaining to the happening or non-happening of an event irrespective of the conditions.

For example, when you wish to convey a new rule to your employees, you say, “there is a new set of rules that have been implemented by the company in order to ensure that all staff members arrive to work on time.”

As far as the origin of the word “ensure” is concerned, it is said that it derived from the Anglo-French word enseurer. The “en” in the word means “make” and the “seur” means “sure.” The word “ensure” was introduced in the English dictionary after the word “assure” was introduced.

In this modern era, it is widely used to bear the action of either guaranteeing or securing a specific development or result.


Main Differences Between Assure and Ensure

  1. Assure is used to get rid of any doubts or worries from the mind of another person by committing to an event or a situation that is bound to happen or not happen no matter what the situation is. However, ensure is used as a verb in situations that state when something may or may not take place.
  2. Assure is used as a promise to someone. You assure someone that something will happen or will not happen. On the other hand, ensure is used in terms of a situation that may or may not happen.
  3. Although both the words assure and ensure are derived more or less from similar origins, “assure” got introduced to the English dictionary before “ensure” did.

 

Conclusion

Even if you had a major confusion pertaining to the words assure and ensure by the beginning of this article, you must be somewhat clear about their differences by now.

It is needless to say that in order to use the words “assure and “ensure” properly and in the right places, you need to understand their meanings first.

To make it short and simple for you, “assure” is used by someone to convey a message to another in such a way that it helps to clear out any doubts from the person’s mind. You need to be rather certain and confident when you use the word assure.

For example, “I assure you that he will never come near you anymore.” In this sentence, the listener is convinced that someone he fears will never come near him.

On the contrary, the word “ensure” is used to make sure that an event either happens or does not happen no matter what the situation is.

For example, “In order to ensure faster recovery, Rohit started doing mild exercises.”

In this sentence, it says that in order to recover faster, Rohit started with mild exercises. In a way, you may say that he was confident about the mild exercises helping him to recover faster than normal.

It is true that using the right words in the right places all the time may not be possible. You will find many words in the English dictionary that seems fine if used interchangeably.

However, doing so all the time may not be a good idea as they have different meanings despite sounding somewhat similar to each other.

Thus, it is always better to learn the meaning of a word properly before using it so that you get the right meaning conveyed to others.


 

References

  1. https://www.etymonline.com/word/ensure
  2. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/assure

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