ensure vs assure

Ensure vs insure and assure I Usage with examples and some exceptional cases.

Languages are funny when it comes to the correct usage of words, grammar and spelling. Likewise, English is known for its rules which hardly makes sense. There are homophones (words which sound same, hour and our), synonyms and antonyms. Words which have almost same pronunciation; for instance, ensure vs insure and assure. These, however, have some utility in the formation of sentences, uses and grammar’s play. Let’s dive in the phantom of these words, dissect them thoroughly and come up with the differences.

How to remember where to use ensure, insure and assure?

Now as you see, these three words in particular have quite similar sound. We, as a non-native speaker of English language, tend to make mistakes. Errors are repeated and there isn’t much to learn from others. In these situations, a person feels humiliated to speak or write one or more than one of these words wrongly. What he can do is to either stop using these words totally or to find synonyms. But here the question arises if it is that easy to follow synonyms? Well, synonyms are a bit complicated when are used in a sentence. Each of it has its own usage. Therefore, it becomes imperial to use these three words and know the correct usages of ensure vs insure and assure.

Find the root word:

Securus, a Latin word is the root of two words: insure and ensure. This word (securus) means to “bring no harm” or to “protect”. The word securus means “something that is without worries”. There are other words which are derived from the very same word “Securus”. Those are: secure, assure, sure and security.

Here, you must know that English was formed and originated by the influence of Latin. Therefore, these words become pretty confusing taking more time than required to learn (the usage).

Knowing the part of speech:

When it comes to assure vs ensure and insure, it becomes important to know the source. Are these nouns or verbs and if they are verbs how we can change them into a noun. Or if they are noun how we can change them into a verb. Even when we read the previous sentence, it makes everything just so complicated, right? Well, here we will learn how the words are changed from noun to verb or from verb to noun.

Literal meaning of ensure vs insure and assure:


When you give a verdict or point of view which doesn’t have any other hold, it is “assured”. It is basically used for individuals, a group of individuals or living beings like animals. Literal meaning of this is to remove anxiety, negative feelings, etc. For instance, here are two sentences:

  • Jimmy assured his mother that he will never come late.
  • I assure you this is the correct way of fixing a dial-up connection.


Ensure vs insure:

Let’s look in to these two words: ensure and insure. Ensure is used for conditions, events, situations and have the same meaning: to confirm or give guarantee. For instance, look at the sentence below:

  • David ensured he would give me the credit card as he will wake up
  • He ensured the positivity in his work.
  • John ensured me that username and password would work for login.

Now, you see who assured about what? “He” and “David” assured. What did they ensure? They ensured about work (not living being) and movie (non-living thing). Hope things are clear till here.

There comes insure:

Sure with a suffix “-in” can be used for a place, thing or a person. However, it is mostly and likely used for financial accountability. For instance,

  • He was skeptical about the belongings were insure-d or not.
  • The surveillance act was insured by the company.

Some tips to remember ensure vs insure and assure

Here are some easy ways to remember the major differences between assure, ensure and insure:

Tip # 1: State:

When you use assure, make sure that the assurance is given to a living being. Ensure is for dead or so not alive beings. Last but not the least, insure is when you are indebted, insecure, in-need!!! But all these have to be taken monetarily. Therefore, ensure vs insure and assure comes to its play in the sentence.

Tip # 2: learning how to overlap:

Learning and understanding the overlap between ensure vs insure and assure is easy. Assure is to make things happen. We assure following things:

  • Success
  • Achievement
  • Victory

For instance:

  • Amantha assured her victory.
  • Joey loved to assure his success but see, he is nowhere today.

When you talk or write British English and not American English, there comes some changes. Assure is used in place of insure which is so not the case in American English. In American English, insure is all about money. It revolves around it.

destiny definition

Tip # 3: Accept these three verbs:

American English is different from British. In American, insure is used for ensure. So, in short we have to be sure what we are writing and in which English we are writing.

For example:

  • We hired a hair dresser to insure best haircut.
  • She insured her efforts in work.

Let’s discuss: assurance, insurance and reassurance:

Assure, ensure and insure are the verbs. There are nouns to it too. Assur(ance), insur(ance) and reassure(ance) are the nouns of the words. What is common in these words is –ance. Do you know what it simplifies? Words which have suffixes are nouns and those words which have prefixes are verbs.

Prefixes examples – verbs:

  • (en)sure
  • (in)sure
  • (as)sure

Suffixes examples – nouns:

  • Assur(ance)
  • Reassure(ance)
  • Insur(ance)

Last verdict based on ensure vs insure:

To sum it up, here are three things to learn from this article. Firstly, the insurance part is strictly limited to money or finances (in American English). Assurance is for living objects and ensure is used for non-living beings. Then the second thing which we learnt is on the usage. We also discussed some examples. In addition to it, we played with the British and American usage to understand the potential differences.

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