'Checkup' or 'Check up': What's the Difference?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on February 1, 2023

Have you been wondering whether to use 'checkup' or 'check up' in your writing? If so, you've come to the right place. This article will teach you how to use each one.

In short, 'checkup' is the spelling for the noun, and 'check up' is the spelling for the verb.

What's the Difference Between 'Checkup or 'Check Up'?

There are two different spellings because they are two different parts of speech. The one-word spelling 'checkup' is a noun, and the two-word spelling is a verb. More precisely, it's part of the phrasal verb 'check up on.'

There are many other examples of words whose meaning is changed simply by adding a space in the middle. For example:

What Does It Mean?

Now that we've clarified the spelling, let's look at each term's meaning. We'll start with 'checkup.'

A checkup is a medical examination to make sure that everything is okay. This might occur at your doctor, dentist, or other medical professionals.

This word is also sometimes hyphenated (especially in Britain), so you might also see it spelled 'check-up.'

'Check up' alone doesn't mean anything. To 'check up on someone,' on the other hand, means to try to find out what or how a person is doing.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Checkup' or 'Check Up'

The good news is that they are both pronounced exactly the same. But how do they sound exactly?

The International Phonetic Alphabet spells them like this:

/ ˈtʃɛkˌʌp /

And when pronounced out loud, they sound like this:

[ chek-uhp ]

When to Use 'Checkup or 'Check Up'

Now let's take a look at these words in some example sentences, so you can understand better how to use them in context. We'll start with the noun' checkup.'

Example Sentences Using 'Checkup'

Your patients are here for their checkups.

Your insurance covers routine checkups and vaccinations.

I went for my checkup today, and my doctor says I'm in the pink of health.

Regular dental checkups can help catch any issues early on.

I'm taking my dog for a checkup at the veterinarian on Friday.

Example Sentences Using 'Check Up'

Can you check up on Dan? He's pretty quiet up there.

No need to keep checking up on me; I'm en route and will be there as soon as possible.

I'm just checking up on the status of my Visa.

Why do you keep checking up on me? I'm fine!

He always checks up on his patients a week after they've been discharged from his care.

Final Thoughts on 'Checkup or 'Check Up'

That concludes this article on the difference between 'checkup' and 'check up.' In summary:

  • 'checkup' is a noun that refers to a medical examination
  • 'check up (on)' is a phrasal verb used to indicate you're verifying if a person is okay.

As long as you remember that and use them according to the rules of each part of a sentence, you’ll be good to go.

If you'd like to learn about more confusing words like these, check out our blog.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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