Difference between Cheque and Check

Key Difference: Both Cheque and Check are a type of document that is commonly used in Banking. Its primary purpose is to tell the bank to withdraw the amount from the drawer's account and to pay that amount to the payee. Cheque is used in British English, while check is used in American English.

ChequeIn often happens in languages that one comes across two words that are quite similar; they may look the same, or sound the same, but are two completely different terms with completely different meanings. This is a very common phenomenon in the English language that completely baffles not only new learners but native speakers as well.

Once such instance is the usage of Cheque and Check. Both terms are commonly used, they sound alike, they even look alike, and are often used in the same context. However, since two different spellings and words exists, logic dictates that there must be differences between the two. However, in this case, there is no actual difference between the two. The only difference is their spelling. 

A cheque is a type of document that is commonly used in Banking. Its primary purpose is to tell the bank to withdraw the amount from the drawer's account and to pay that amount to the payee. The drawer is the person who signs the cheque and from whose account the money would be withdrawn from; basically he is the one who need to pay money to somebody else. The payee is the person who gets the money; they are the ones in whose name the cheque is make.

CheckNow, a check is the same exact thing as a cheque. In fact, a cheque is known as a check. The only difference is that it is known as a cheque in British Language, while it is known as a check in American English. The only thing that varies is the spelling of the word; the meaning, the usage, and even the pronunciation is exactly the same.

However, the term check also has a variety of different meaning which are not related to banking. According to the Oxford Dictionaries, some of these definitions are:

  • Examine (something) in order to determine its accuracy, quality, or condition, or to detect the presence of something. E.g. Let me check the schedule
  • Stop or slow the progress of (something, typically something undesirable) E.g. Check the disease
  • Consign (baggage) to the care of the transport provider with whom they are travelling. E.g. Check the suitcase at the airport
  • Mark or click on (a box) in order to select a particular option on a form, questionnaire, etc. E.g. Check the box that applies to you
  • The term is also used in Chess to indicate when the king is in danger

However, there is no other definition for cheque. Even in British English, the term cheque is only used in the context of banking and finance; in all other instances, including the ones listed above, check is used.

Comparison between Cheque and Check:

 

Cheque

Check

Definition (Oxford Dictionaries)

  • An order to a bank to pay a stated sum from the drawer's account, written on a specially printed form.
  • An order to a bank to pay a stated sum from the drawer's account, written on a specially printed form. (US spelling of cheque)
  • Examine (something) in order to determine its accuracy, quality, or condition, or to detect the presence of something.
  • Stop or slow the progress of (something, typically something undesirable)
  • consign (baggage) to the care of the transport provider with whom they are travelling.
  • Mark or click on (a box) in order to select a particular option on a form, questionnaire, etc.

Type

Noun

Language

British English

American English

Usage

Banking

Purpose

To pay a specific amount of money from a person's account to a person.

Reference: Oxford Dictionaries (Cheque and Check), Wikipedia, Grammarist, Writing Explained
Image Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org, wikimedia.org

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Comments

Hi Brigitte, yes, cheque is used in British English, hence all countries that use British English, such the Commonwealth Countries like Canada, Australia, India, etc. all use the British spelling of cheque.

Hello. I happened upon this topic while looking up information on something else. It should also be added that 'Cheque' is not only the British spelling but it is what we use in Canada as well. A Canadian writes a cheque. Thank you.

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