Is -que the same as -ck?

Does it mean something different?

For example, is cheque the same as check?

  • 1
    Your question is not very clear. Are you asking if the letters "que" and "ck" are always interchangeable in words? Then the answer is no. There's a noun check (which is a piece of paper directing a bank to pay money to s.o.) that is standard American English and that is spelt cheque in non US English. If you use check as a verb, then the spelling is always "ck" – Laure Dec 20 '13 at 20:46

No, -que and -ck are not interchangeable in general.

The final -que pronounced [k] in English is only found in words of non-Germanic origin, usually French. In French, this is a very common word ending. In English, -que- is naturally pronounced [kwi] (the vowel may vary depending on what follows the e), but when -que is at the end of a word, it is pronounced in a French-like way.

In the word cheque/check meaning a method of payment, both spellings are possible. The meaning is the same. As usual, the French spelling is the standard one in British English while the more phonetic spelling is the standard one in American English. When check means verify or verification, it is always spelled check.

Most other words that end in -que cannot be spelled another way. In fact, while there are several other -que/-ck pairs, I can't think of another one where the two can have the same meaning: others are just different words that happen to have somewhat similar spellings and pronunciation. (Not identical pronunciation: as a rule, the vowel before -que is long and stressed, whereas the vowel before -ck is short.)

  • And sometimes it is found in artificial words, like "deque" in computer science: the name of a double-ended queue data structure which is a deliberate play on "deck". – Kaz Dec 26 '13 at 23:39

No these are not same. Cheque is a bill of exchange (used in banking) by which you order banks to pay someone money from your account. It is a verb also that means withdraw money with cheque.

Check- means examine, verify, control, stop or slow down progress of something etc.

Why didn’t they check to make sure it worked ?...checking emails... Sugar solution checks growth of bacteria...etc.


Cheque is used not only as a noun but also as a verb and you can verify it here The website quotes this definition from Random House Webster's College Dictionary 2010, which I think is pretty reliable source of information. Another source is WordNet 3.1

Using cheque, a person who has a account in bank can withdraw money from bank, in other words orders the bank to pay the amount. If someone issues you, say a $100 cheque, it is not you but the person who has account with bank is withdrawing money.

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    I've never seen "cheque" used as a verb, nor can I readily find a dictionary definition for such a usage. Can you point out any examples? – Nigel Harper Dec 21 '13 at 0:45
  • I do agree with you, cheque as a verb is r{arely used... But it is alright to use it as a verb. ,.[Click here] (www.audioenglish.org/dictionary/cheque.htm) for reference. – swapna Dec 21 '13 at 3:27
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    The link you give refers to a verb "cheque" in the banking context (withdraw money by writing a check) and not to what you give in your answer. But even in that sense I have never met "cheque" used as a verb. Moreover, I've had a general look at the site you point at in your link and it looks most unreliable to me, obviously done by people whose knowledge of English cannot be trusted, so I would not recommend it to EFL learners. – Laure Dec 21 '13 at 8:09
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    @swapna You misquoted it. It was from WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. I recommend reading english.stackexchange.com/questions/16749/…. You might want to change your opinion. – Damkerng T. Dec 21 '13 at 10:14
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    I wouldn't recommend that learners use cheque as a verbed form of the noun cheque. It's likely to be perceived as nonstandard. The much more common verb check (as in "to check what's under the couch") is never spelled cheque. – snailboat Dec 21 '13 at 15:10

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