Difference between Cheque and Check

The terms “cheque” and “check” are often used interchangeably, leading to confusion, especially as regional variations in spelling have evolved over time. While both words refer to a financial instrument used for payment, there are subtle differences between the two, largely rooted in their geographical origins.

What is Cheque?

A cheque is the preferred spelling in British English and is commonly used in many Commonwealth countries. It is a written order directing a bank to pay a specific amount of money from the drawer’s account to the payee. Cheques typically contain details such as the payee’s name, the amount, the drawer’s signature, and other necessary information.

What is a Check?

The term “check” is the preferred spelling in American English. Like a cheque, a check is a written order instructing a bank to pay a designated sum from the drawer’s account to the payee. In American English, “check” is used for both the verb and the noun forms, while in British English, “cheque” is used as the noun, and “check” is used as the verb.

Regional Usage:


  • British English, Canadian English, Australian English, and other Commonwealth countries predominantly use “cheque” as the standard term.


  • American English adopts the spelling “check” for both the noun and verb forms.

Difference between Cheque and Check

Feature Cheque Check
Spelling British English American English
Geographical Usage Commonwealth countries United States and others
Verb Form To cheque a document To check a document
Banking Usage Commonly used Commonly used
Legal Recognition Widely recognized Widely recognized
Alternate Usage Uncommon in the U.S. Uncommon outside U.S.


In essence, while “cheque” and “check” refer to the same financial instrument, the choice of spelling is largely determined by regional and linguistic factors. The distinction is crucial for effective communication, especially in the globalized financial landscape, where precision in terminology is paramount. As communication and commerce continue to transcend borders, understanding these linguistic nuances becomes increasingly important to ensure clarity and accuracy in financial transactions. Whether you’re writing a cheque in London or issuing a check in New York, recognizing the regional differences in spelling is key to navigating the diverse linguistic landscape of the financial world.

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