When you learn something new, have you “acquired” or “aquired” knowledge? In this post, we’ll help you keep your writing error-free and learn whether “acquire” or “aquire” is the correct spelling of this often-misspelled word.
What Does “Acquire” Mean?
The word “acquire” is a verb most often used to mean “to gain” or “to obtain” something for oneself:
She acquired the manager position through hard work.
The museum hopes to acquire a collection of rare paperclips.
It can also mean to learn or develop something, such as a skill or trait:
The exchange students acquired a proficiency in Spanish.
He needs to acquire a head for business to open his shop.
More rarely, “acquire” is used in a military context to mean that a target has been located or detected:
The target was acquired using radar.
Whichever way it’s used, however, “acquire” is always spelled with the letter “c.”
The Error: Aquire
While “acquire” is the correct spelling of this word, many people misspell it as “aquire,” leaving out the “c.”
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The dog managed to aquire a bone from the butcher. ✗
The dog managed to acquire a bone from the butcher. ✓
Over the years, they had aquired a taste for caviar. ✗
Over the years, they had acquired a taste for caviar. ✓
This may be because some words that start with the “ack” sound, such as “aquatic” or “aquarium,” are spelled without a “c.” Most “aq-” words are spelled this way because they’re related to water and derived from the Latin root word “aqua.”
So, an easy way to remember how to spell “acquire” is that if the word doesn’t have to do with water, it needs a “c.”
Summary: Acquire or Aquire?
“Acquire” is a verb meaning “get,” “gain,” or “receive.” It’s sometimes misspelled as “aquire” without the “c,” but this is always incorrect.
To remember this spelling, keep in mind that if the word doesn’t have to do with water, it needs to have a “c.”