Consider the following:

Check (out) the portfolio and let me know if you are interested via e-mail.


Look at the portfolio and let me know if you are interested via e-mail.

Can I use check, check out or look at?

I need it to be as simple as possible, so take a look is not an option for me right now.

My guess is that look at is the most formal one, so should I use it when talking to a client or is check OK, too?

  • What is the intricacy in the use of take a look?
    – Noah
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 7:50
  • Too many words ;) I have a limited space, to make a long story short.
    – Derfder
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 7:53

2 Answers 2


Check, at least in British English, carries with it the suggestion that the reader should scrutinize the portfolio for errors. Look at is more general. Take a look at is less formal, and could be used in many contexts. Whatever verb you use, your message might have a more favourable reception if you soften the peremptory tone that a direct imperative conveys. You might therefore like to consider these alternatives, or variations of them, depending on the nature of your relationship with the client:

I should be grateful if you would examine the portfolio . . .

You might like to look through the portfiolio . . .

You might find it helpful to look through the portfiolio . . .

  • 2
    Your alternatives are perfect! Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 7:17
  • Thanks, so I will stick with Look at because of the lack of "space" in my application. But also the other suggestions will be really useful in a conversation. Thanks again.
    – Derfder
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 7:51

"Check out" is a better alternative, as it means "to appraise". "Look at" is definitely not wrong, but seems (to me) to be asking for a more superficial answer, which is made just by looking, rather than observing in detail, as "check out" implies.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.