The board will make appropriate inquiries of management to determine whether there is inappropriate scope or resource limitations.
動詞 inquire や名詞 inquiry の後、質問する相手を示すために of を使うのは、フォーマルで古風な表現です。辞書には載っていますが、普段の生活でこのような of に出会うことは稀で、ネイティブでも間違いと感じる人が多いかもしれません。そのことで、日本語の勉強中様と話し合いました。
また、ご質問の冒頭にお書きになった "make an inquiry to (someone)" ですが、これも疑問が浮かびました。普段の会話では通じますし、正しいとおっしゃるネイティブもおられると思いますが、ぎこちないので、"send an inquiry to (someone)" の方が良いと思います。
ちなみに、この文の出典は、International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) 「内部監査の専門職的実施の国際基準」で、非常にフォーマルな文書です。英語版４ページ目、日本語版５ページ目に載っていますので、ご興味がありましたらご覧ください。
Thank you for your explanation. I will answer to the original question that the use of "of" in this case is a formal and archaic expression. It is rare and it almost looks like a mistake. I will also propose "send an inquiry to (someone)" instead of "make an inquiry to (someone)." I think we had a good discussion, and I appreciate it. I am a Japanese native who has been in the U.S. longer than in Japan. I would not have thought about this so deeply without your comments.
Thank you for bringing this to light. I must have been wrong about "inquire of".
However, I wouldn't recommend people use this phrase, since it may be poorly understood or even rejected. It does occasionally happen that there are elements of a language which are technically correct, as set forth in the reference texts (dictionary, etc), but which are not reflected entirely in speakers' internal understanding of the language. If we conducted a survey of English speakers at various universities, we might find that many consider "inquire of" to be incorrect to some extent.
"Making inquiries to management would not be the same as asking the managers questions. It would be more like making inquiries about management, wouldn't it?"
Well, I do actually think "inquiries to management" would be understood as asking the managers questions, etc. We would be referring to inquiries that are sent to management, for example questions sent via email. In making an "inquiry to management" we would be in this case asking the management directly about "whether there is inappropriate scope or resource or limitation," etc.
I still think "make inquiries to management" is awkward, and part of the problem might be "make". It would seem most natural to me if we were to say "address inquiries to management". This might seem awkward too, especially since "address [...]" can also mean answer, rather than pose or send, but it's the first thing that comes to mind.
But your proposal of "make appropriate questions for management" also seems reasonable to me. と思っております。
Thank you for your reply. It was very helpful. I read this sentence over and over again, and now I think this is an error. Although “relating to” seems possible, that meaning is not obvious. I agree with you that the use of “of” would dilute or blur the meaning especially if the author meant "relating to." Besides, it would make more sense if the board sent questions “to” management to find any inappropriate scope or resource limitations during an internal audit.
I have learned that the original sentence comes from Page 4 of the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.
In the the Japanese version of this formal document, the translator wrote, 経営管理者および内部監査部門長に適切な質問をすること (ASKING management and the CAE appropriate questions). Now, when you use the verb "ask," you can use "of": "That's all I ask of you." The original language of this document might not be English, and the editor might not have caught the erroneous use of "of" here.
In addition, we cannot simply replace "make inquiries of" with "make inquiries to" as in the original question, can we? Making inquiries to management would not be the same as asking the managers questions. It would be more like making inquiries about management, wouldn't it?
So here is my final answer. This "make appropriate inquiries of management" is probably a translation error, even though the meaning of the sentence is well understood in the context of internal auditing. It would be correct to write "make appropriate questions for management."
I will put this in Japanese somehow.
Thank you for your follow-up message and for pointing this out.
Actually, in my response, I accidentally addressed the question of whether we can say "inquire of", which involves a verb, instead of "inquiry/inquiries of", which involves a noun. In the case of this noun "inquiry/inquiries", it's a little more flexible and "of" is allowed in certain cases. For example, "an inquiry of the highest importance". That's different from this case, but I thought I would mention it for the record.
I think your interpretation of "of" in this case, to mean "relating to" or "about", is reasonable for the given sentence. Used in that way, I think "of" will usually be understood by English speakers. The same goes for using "of" to mean something similar to "to" as the original question supposed.
Using "inquiry of management" to mean either of these two things is still technically incorrect, I think, but not as bad as "inquire of management".
If "inquiry of" is used in spoken language in either of these ways, many speakers may not even notice, if the intended meaning is obvious enough. If used in writing, as it is in this case, it will give the reader pause, but may be understood based on the context.
Often, if something is "slightly incorrect", we can still receive some meaning from it. That meaning might be diluted or "blurred", but it's still there.
私も to の間違いと思いましたが、ここの of は「に関して」の意味かもしれません。出どころを探したところ、内部監査の参考書でした。
I agree with you that the preposition “of” is not permissible after the verb “inquire.” You can say, “That’s all I ask of you,” but not “That’s all I inquire of you.” In the same way, “making inquires of management” would be an error, but I got curious. This sentence probably came from this book. Wiley CIA Exam Review 2020, Part 1: Essentials of Internal Auditing, by S. Rao Vallabhaneni. On Page 13 and 14, the role of the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) is explained.
“Organizational independence is effectively achieved when the CAE reports functionally to the board. Examples of functional reporting to the board involve the board:
* Making appropriate inquires of management and the CAE to determine whether there is inappropriate scope or resource limitations.”
I’m not an expert in auditing, but don’t you think that “of” in this case might have the meaning of “relating to” or “about?” This definition is listed under “of” in Merriam-Webster.
Unfortunately, you cannot use "of" here to convey your intended meaning.
As you may have noticed, each verb carries with it a system of permissible prepositions and sub-phrases that can be attached to it. "Of" is not allowed on the verb "inquire".
I can't think of any case where you can attach an "of" phrase to "inquire".