inquiring vs inquisitive


New Member
Please native speakers, I needed your help to understand the subtle difference, if any, between the following expressions. I was asked to write a recommendation for a student in English, and I'd like to say in a positive way that he itches for new knowledge and asks a lot of questions in class.

Should I write:

1. He is very inquiring or

2. He is very inquisitve

My second question: this student attended my course for one semester and has already finished the course. Which tense should I use:

1. I have know Mr. x from my xx course
2. I knew Mr. x from my xx course
3. I know Mr. x from my xx course

Many thanks for your replies.
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    I'd suggest you use inquiring. Or that he has a curious mind.

    Inquisitive carries a slightly negative connotation as it's often used to mean being curious about something that's not one's business.

    I think you may need to open another thread for the second question.


    English - United States
    As a native, I'd suggest inquisitive. The only time I can really think of someone using "inquiring" is to say something like "he has an inquiring mind".

    And "I know Mr. x from my xx course" sounds the best to me

    Hope that helps!


    Senior Member
    English - US
    An inquiring person would ask a lot of (nosey) questions while an inquisitive person is curious. The inquisitive person might also investigate things or do experiments.
    "Inquiring" is more negative to me - perhaps because of the tabloid newspaper The National Enquirer (yes, that's the spelling they use) which prints a lot of gossip and rumors "because inquiring minds want to know!" (one of their slogans).
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