‘Cheque' or 'Check': What's the Difference?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on February 7, 2023

'Cheque' or 'check': the same word or different meanings? If you're wondering which one you should be using, this article will help clarify that.

In short, 'cheque' is the preferred spelling in the UK, whereas 'check' is the accepted spelling in the US.

What's the Difference Between 'Cheque' or 'Check'?

'Cheque' or 'check' are just two of many words that have different spellings depending on the country you're in. Some other US vs UK spellings we've covered include:

If you're based in the US or writing for an American audience, you'll want to use the spelling 'check.' If you're in the UK or writing for a British audience, you'll want to use the spelling 'cheque.'

What Does It Mean?

Now we've got the spelling out of the way; you might want to know what the word actually means.

Well, that'll depend.

'Cheque' is a noun and can only mean one thing: the piece of paper that you can take to your bank to have an amount of money deposited into your account.

This definition also applies to 'check,' but that's not the word's only meaning. 'Check' can mean a number of other things. And it can be a noun or a verb. Some common definitions include:

  • A symbol to show an item has been completed
  • To verify or find out about something
  • To leave your luggage or belongings with someone in charge

But for the purposes of this blog, we'll only focus on the piece of paper worth money, as that's the meaning for which the spelling often needs to be clarified.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Cheque' or 'Check'

So how do you pronounce these two words? The good news is that they're both spelled the same since they're the same word.

The International Phonetics Alphabet spells it like this:

/ tʃɛk /

And when you say it, it sounds like this:

[ chek ]

Examples of 'Cheque' or 'Check' Used in a Sentence

Let's take a look at some examples of 'cheque' and 'check' used in a sentence. I'll use them interchangeably since they're both valid. It's up to you to decide which one is most appropriate to use based on your location.

We need the CEO's endorsement on the cheque.

You're entitled to an advance payment halfway through the project in the form of a check which you'll receive now, but you won't be able to cash it until March.

Could you make the payment by cheque?

The check will bounce if you try to cash it now. Please wait until next week.

Employee remuneration is made by cheque.

Concluding Thoughts

That concludes this article on the difference between 'cheque' and 'check.'

  • To summarize, if you're in the US, use the 'check' spelling, and if you're in the UK, use the 'cheque' spelling.

And if you want to learn about commonly confused spellings like this one, 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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