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I know there is a related question asked here. But its slightly different than it and seeking more information.

I live in India, I have been to America couple of times. In my first trip it was surprising to see people asking for "check" instead of "bill". I have been told by my friend that here (in America) they call it "check". I assumed may be it arosed from "check-out".

After some days another friend told me that it's "cheque", not "check" and he elaborated that just like how a banker pays money in return of cheque.

After reading few answers/question and links given in the relative question, I really made a conclusion that which one is correct to use because I doubt only one has to be correct and remaining evolved by misinterpretation because "check" and "cheque" sound the same?

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AFAIK cheque is the British spelling and check is the American spelling –  Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 7 '12 at 10:30
    
thats why I was wondering why the red lines under "cheque" (spell checker didnt know I was typing UK english lol), and there is no solid historical proof to make a conclusion –  Inglish Feb 7 '12 at 11:03
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In America, when you go to a bank, you can cash a "check", not a "cheque". Whether it's like that because two words sounded the same or because Americans spell it differently is sort of besides the point. When you ask for the "check" at a restaurant, you're basically playing the role of the banker for the waiters; they bring you a check, and you cash it. –  Patrick87 Feb 7 '12 at 16:14
    
Can't link to a comment, so copy/paste: "It's one of the definitions of check: 25. a slip or ticket showing the amount owed, especially a bill for food or beverages consumed. – Daniel δ Oct 25 '11 at 13:36" –  Jim Feb 13 '12 at 19:30

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Cheque is the British spelling for the banking thing. It is not used in Britain or Australia for restaurants. There you would say "bill" or "account".

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There is no difference between check and checque. Both are pronounced identically, as /tʃɛk/. The difference between the usage in a restaurant and in a bank is usually distinguished by the articles used.

In a restaurant, (unless you're writing your request to the waiter, which seems unlikely) you ask for /ðə'tʃɛk/ (note the definite article the).

In a bank, however, you cash /ə'tʃɛk/ (note indefinite article a).

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I know you tried to explain using /tʃɛk/ /ðə'tʃɛk/ /ə'tʃɛk/ but I dont know how to read them :) –  Inglish Feb 14 '12 at 6:22
    
Look up Kenyon and Knott, or International Phonetic Alphabet, or read the instructions in your bilingual dictionary. Or, if you're American, try Good Night Moon. –  John Lawler Feb 14 '12 at 13:54

At restaurants in America, you ask for the "check", not the "bill". Whatever the etymology, that's American usage.

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Its 'Check' not 'Cheque'.... check word also means 'stop or slow the progress of' (something, typically something undesirable). for eg: "efforts were made to check the disease" Here, we let waiter know that we are done with our food and he can proceed to the next step

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That is not what "check please" means in this case. –  Matt Эллен Feb 11 at 20:57
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That sounds like your (or somebody's) conjecture about the origin of that meaning, and unless you can produce a reliable source for it, I would discount the suggestion. –  Colin Fine Feb 12 at 0:33

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