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If I need to know whose name should I put in title of a cheque, what would be the most precise and educated sentence?

I have to pay someone some money via cheque but I want to ask them whose name should I put in title of the cheque, what should I say which is polite and eloquent ?

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Why can't you just ask them directly what their name is? Or are you only dealing with an intermediary? – curiousdannii Aug 21 '14 at 13:49
up vote 10 down vote accepted

In British English, one makes out a cheque, so you could ask:

Who should I make the cheque out to, please?

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To whom should I make the cheque out ....? -- just to open an opportunity for people to accuse me of being anal(ytic) and archaic. – Blessed Geek Aug 19 '14 at 8:48
That is something up with which I will not put ;) – ElendilTheTall Aug 19 '14 at 9:05
+1 In the US, the same phrase is common (but of course we would spell check correctly). – bib Aug 19 '14 at 14:26
@bib As an American, lol. – Chris Cirefice Aug 19 '14 at 14:43
@bib: Check your privilege (incorrectly*) – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 19 '14 at 14:43

I agree that make out is the most common formulation. A more traditional phrase is to 'write a cheque in favour of somebody'. So the question would be: who should the cheque be written in favour of?

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I didn't down vote but as a native english speaker I have never heard "in favour of" as being used in this context so I can understand why somebody may have downvoted. – Chris Aug 19 '14 at 12:17
Me too so I downvoted on that basis. Perhaps this is a Singaporean custom but I've never ever heard it in any of the Western Hemisphere, so calling it "more traditional" is a real stretch. – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 19 '14 at 14:44
@Chris: I think it was probably common in BrE in the past, and now survives in parts of the Commonwealth. It is still found in dictionaries, eg Macmillan (macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/favour#in-favour-of) has 'showing who an amount of money written on a cheque should be paid to: He had tricked her into writing a cheque in his favour. – Peter Aug 20 '14 at 2:48
@LightnessRacesinOrbit: perhaps 'traditional' is the wrong word. I'm sure the Singaporean custom is derived from an older British custom. Searching 'cheque in favour of' turns up many examples from India, Singapore and Malaysia. – Peter Aug 20 '14 at 2:52

Another tortured but colloquial phrase is "Who do I make it payable to?"

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"To whom should I make out the cheque?"


"How exactly should I write the payee name?"

or simply and less formally,

"How should I spell your name on this cheque, please?"

are all reasonable alternatives.

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