It’s funny how words can get confused in our minds, isn’t it? These three — almost homophones with similar meanings — are often misused.
Let’s see if we can finally get a grip on them, OK?
First, the words are all verbs, action words. They all revolve around the idea of making something safer, better, and more secure. But they do it in different ways.
Assure means to make someone comfortable, certain, happy, confident. It generally is followed by an object (a person or person’s name).
- I assure you that I am correct when I say this.
- Karthik assured Sarah that he would be on time for their meeting.
- Bob assured us that we would work together on the project.
- Rest assured, John, that we’ll take great care of you! (You could leave out John’s name in this one, but still use “assured.”)
Ensure means to do what is needed to create a specific outcome.
- David ensured his success by keeping complete notes on the process.
- Cindy used the teleprompter to ensure that she would remember her speech completely.
- Heat the oven for 10 minutes to ensure it’s hot enough for your roast.
Insure deals with insurance, protecting something or someone.
- Our house is insured for $500,000.
- Be sure to insure your car today!
- How much do we need to insure the painting for?
Some authorities are now saying that ensure and insure can be used interchangeably, but I am staying with their original definitions.