Posted by: Jack Henry | December 18, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Fourth Day of English

On the fourth day of English

My true love gave to me

Four verbs containing “ure”

(But we’ll start with the most confusing three.)

Assure, ensure, and insure often confuse folks because they share the general meaning “to make sure.” While they share a similar meaning, I would argue that their use depends on context. Let’s have a look.

· assure – convince; remove doubt. Often used to assuage anxiety in another individual.

Example: Dino assured me that he would be there for the presentation.

· ensure – guarantee; make certain; make safe. Focused around guaranteeing a specific condition or event.

Example: To ensure the health of the convalescent home residents, the staff ordered one case of Ensure® per person.

· insure – to protect against financial loss; to provide insurance.

Example: I have insured my home for damage caused by a plague of fire ants, flooding caused by the rise of Atlantis, and the return of Godzilla.

And for the fourth related “ure” word:

· secure – to take possession of; to stabilize; to make safe.

Example: The guards secured the castle by closing the gates, raising the bridge, and filling the moat with crocodiles.

For an entire article on this topic, see Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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