'Double Check' or 'Double Confirm': Which is Correct?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on October 31, 2022

Do you ‘double check’ or ‘double confirm’ your work? What’s the correct way to convey what you mean?

To keep it short, ‘double check’ is the correct phrase to use. To double confirm is repetitive. To confirm something twice, you’d say ‘reconfirm.'

‘Double Check’ or ‘Double Confirm’

So, what does each phrase mean? We'll get into that in a bit. But first, let's define 'check' and 'confirm.'

Definition and Meaning of ‘Check’

The Merriam-Webster definition of the word ‘check’ is: “to inspect, examine, or look appraisingly – usually used without or over,” “to compare with a source, original, or authority: verify,” “to look at (something) to obtain information,” “to look or reach into (something) to find what is there,” and to access (email, voice mail, etc.) to find out if there are messages.”

It could also mean: “to slow or bring to a stop,” to block the progress of (someone, such as a hockey player),” “to leave or accept for safekeeping in a checkroom,” “to consign (something, such as luggage) to a common carrier from which one has purchased a passenger ticket,” to ship or accept for shipment under such a consignment,” “to restrain or diminish the action or force of control,” to slack or ease off (a rope) and then belay again,” “to mark into squares,” and “to put (a chess king) in check.”

As a verb, it’s defined as: “to investigate conditions,” “to prove to be consistent or truthful,” “to look at or in something to see or find what is there,” and “to waive the right to initiate the betting in a round of poker.”

Definition and Meaning of ‘Confirm’ 

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘confirm’ is: “to give approval to,” “to make firm or firmer,” to administer the rite of confirmation to,” and “to give new assurance of the validity of removing doubt about by authoritative act or indisputable fact.”

Can I Say Both Double Check and Double Confirm

 In short, you cannot use both ‘double check’ and ‘double confirm.’ To confirm something twice, you’d use the word ‘reconfirm.’

How to Use ‘Double Check’ in a Sentence 

Since you know it’s perfectly acceptable to use ‘double check’ and not ‘double confirm,’ let’s take a closer look at how to use it in a sentence correctly.

Take a look at some examples of how to use ‘double check’:

  • I need to double-check my homework to make sure all the answers are right.
  • I just want to double-check that you understand the instructions before we begin.

Using the phrase ‘double confirm’ isn’t really acceptable. If you want to confirm something you’ve already confirmed, you can say ‘reconfirm.’

  • I checked on my dinner reservations earlier, but I want to double confirm (incorrect)
  • I checked on my dinner reservations earlier, but I want to reconfirm (correct)

One easy way to remember which word to use is to remember that if you’re using the word ‘check’ to verify something, just use ‘confirm’ instead.

And while you can ‘double confirm’ something (confirm it twice), you don’t need to say ‘double confirm’ if you’re only doing it once.

However, ‘double check’ is acceptable to say.

Final Thoughts on ‘Double Check’ and ‘Double Confirm’

Saying ‘double check’ is completely fine, and it’s incorrect to use ‘double confirm.’ To confirm something twice, you’d say ‘reconfirm.’

It might be tricky to remember which phrase to use – similar to phrases like ‘He and I/He and Him’ and ‘Unto/Onto.’

Remember, if you’re using the word ‘check’ to verify something, just use ‘confirm’ instead.

That’s precisely why we’ve created a library of articles on confusing words and phrases that can help you remember exactly which words and phrases it’s okay to use while you’re learning the language or even if you’re just brushing up on your grammar.

Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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