Many words in English are commonly confused by both those learning the language and native speakers alike. Three such words are “assure”, “ensure” and “insure”. These words are commonly confused as they are all verbs that have similar pronunciations. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the difference between “assure”, “ensure” and “insure” and how to use them correctly in a sentence when speaking or writing.
Check out other easily confused words in English by visiting this page. Teachers and students can download this guide as a PDF file using the link at the bottom of the page.
“Assure” is a verb which means to give confidence to someone, remove doubt from someone’s mind or make someone feel certain about something. The object of “assure” is whoever receives the assurance, and this is typically followed by a “that” clause containing details of the assurance.
How to use “assure” in a sentence:
- The doctor assured me that the surgery would be a success.
- The coach assured his team that they were ready for the game.
- The company assured its customers that the product was safe to use.
- She assured herself that she had turned off the stove before leaving the house.
- He assured us of his support in the upcoming election.
- The teacher assured the parents that their child was making progress in class.
“Ensure” is a verb which means to make sure that something happens or to guarantee a particular outcome. The object of “ensure” is whatever the guaranteed or desired outcome is, which can sometimes be introduced with a “that” clause.
How to use “ensure” in a sentence:
- The lock on the door ensures our safety at night.
- The company wants to ensure customer satisfaction with their new product.
- The parents want to ensure their children’s safety at the playground.
- The project manager will ensure that the deadline is met.
- The chef must ensure that the food is cooked to perfection.
- He took extra precautions to ensure that the package would arrive on time.
“Insure” is a verb which means to provide financial protection against lost or damaged property. The object of “insure” is the property that receives this financial protection.
How to use “insure” in a sentence:
- We insure our car to protect against accidents.
- She insured her new home against natural disasters.
- The company insures its employees for health and dental care.
- He insured his valuable art collection for a high amount.
- They will insure the concert venue for any potential damages.
- The policy will insure the company’s assets.
Why are “assure”, “ensure” and “insure” commonly confused?
The main reason these verbs are sometimes confused is because they contain similar letters and have similar pronunciations. However, each verb has its own distinct meaning.
assure – a verb to give confidence to someone or remove doubt from their mind about something
ensure – a verb that guarantees a specific outcome
insure – a verb to provide financial protection against lost or damaged property
Do you know the difference between “assure”, “ensure” and “insure”?
Fill in the blanks in the following activity with the correct form of the word (“assure”, “ensure” or “insure”):
- The company decided to _____ all their employees that their jobs were safe during the restructuring process.
- I always _____ that I have enough money in my bank account to pay my bills.
- The contractor had to _____ that the building was safe to inhabit after the earthquake.
- I want to _____ that this project will be completed on time and within budget.
- The policy will _____ the car to be repaired or replaced in case of an accident.
- He _____ me that he would be at the meeting, but he never showed up.
- The airline had to _____ that the passengers’ luggage would arrive on the same flight as them.
- The teacher tried to _____ that all the students understood the lesson before moving on.
- The bank will _____ that your money is safe and secure.
- The store manager needed to _____ that the products were all in stock and available for purchase.
Answers: 1. assure, 2. ensure, 3. ensure, 4. assure, 5. insure, 6. assured, 7. assure, 8. ensure, 9. ensure, 10. ensure