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Assure vs Ensure


  • ‘Assure’ (verb) means ‘declare something with certainty or confidence’.
  • ‘Ensure’ (verb) means ‘make something certain to happen or exist’.

What’s the difference between ‘assure’ and ‘ensure’?

It is easy to see how these two words can be confused, and indeed they often are. Not only do they look and sound alike, but they also carry the same theme of ‘certainty’ in meaning. However, they don’t mean the same thing, so can’t be used interchangeably.

It may help to know that ‘assure’ should be preceded by an animate subject (as only a person can declare something), whereas ‘ensure’ can be preceded by anything (animate or inanimate).

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How they’re used

Example sentences with ‘assure’

  • They assured the committee that their research was ethical.
  • The authors assured that there was no conflict of interest.

Example sentences with ‘ensure’

  • Interventions are needed to ensure food safety.
  • There is a need to ensure competency in clinical evaluation skills.