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Your English: Phrasal verbs: check

Type: Article

Check phrasal verbs off your list as you check out Tim Bowen’s latest article.

‘The college authorities have been accused of checking up on the political activities of some of their students’. If you check up on someone, you try to find out information about them, especially in a clandestine manner. 

Simply checking on someone or something means to ensure that a person is safe or that the progress of a process or item is satisfactory, as in ‘I sent Michael to check on the kids’ or ‘The boss arrived to check on our progress’. 

If you check information against a list, database or other source of information, you find out whether that information is accurate or useful, as in ‘Police are checking his fingerprints against their database’. 

Checking in is a familiar process at airports and in hotels, and, in the case of the latter, you will also need to check out

If you check out a place, you look at it to see if you like it, as in ‘Have you checked out the new sports centre yet?’, and if you check out a person, you look at them carefully, as in ‘I think that guy at the bar is checking us out’. 

Mainly used in American English, check out can also mean to seem to be true after it has been examined, as in ‘Their story just didn’t check out’. In British English the phrasal verb add up is used with the same meaning. 

If you check things off, you mark things on a list to show that you have dealt with them or that they are correct, as in ‘The lady at the door was checking people’s names off as they entered the room’.

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