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Assure, Ensure, or Insure?

Well, which is it? This is something that always throws me for a loop. The English language can be very confusing at times.

In an effort to pepper in more copyediting best practice posts over the next year, we’ll start here today. Our copyediting friends would be very proud of us – Allison Cox, Kevin Hendricks, etc.

Do you know when to use assure, ensure and insure?

With help from the good folks over at buzzle.com, here’s how they explain using these three words.


Something you do to a person, a group of people, or someone in doubt or anxiety. You give assurance to help a person become certain of something. Assurance can only be said when it is related to something that is alive. This is because assurance is used to drive away any kind of uncertainty or doubt that people may have about something.

Example: Edward assured Clifford that he’d come with him to work.


Something you do to guarantee the occurrence of an event or condition. This is taken up as a warranty that something is going to happen for which you will double check.

Example: Edward ensured that there were enough chairs to accommodate two hundred people in the hall for the party.


The root word for insurance and hence, can be done to a person, place, or thing. However, you must understand that it is reserved for limiting financial liability. This financial liability is most commonly achieved by obtaining an insurance policy.

Example: Edward was wondering if his bike was insured or not.

Word words stump you?

*Post image found at funnyartpictures.com
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