I came across the following example:

Tick the box if you would like more details.

In the sentence, "tick the box" means mark the specific checkbox. If we have the following checkboxes

enter image description here

ticking the first checkbox means selecting it.

But what is the difference between checking the box and ticking the box? Can I assume that the phrases are equivalent?

  • 1
    A 'tick' is a 'check mark'. :)
    – Maulik V
    Sep 11, 2015 at 6:37
  • Besides the literal and valid translations above, 'ticking the box' also means achieving or completing a task, and getting it right. Tick the box and move on to the next one
    – Jason
    Aug 10, 2019 at 4:46

4 Answers 4


Ticking a box (British English) and Checking a box (American English) mean the same thing and are generally understood on both sides of the Atlantic.


The respective processes may be interpreted as:

checking the box -> there is a box, and mark it with a check mark if you want to select it (This is commonly used in hard copies [forms])

ticking the box -> there is a box, and click it to mark the same with a check mark (if you want to select it). (common in online forms/surveys etc.)

Moreover, "checking the box" is more flexible, since those who live in the era where forms are answered in hard copies can automatically interpret it as to selecting the option available. Ticking the box may not be that simple for a person who is not a technological savvy.

'Ticking' is similar to 'clicking' (hence, all the results caused by clicking is possible). 'checking' is not similar to clicking, but you need to click in order to place a check mark in online forms.

Hence, in online forms, the two are technically equivalent (per common sense/experience of computer users).

  • In simple words, ticking means mark something wit a tick, right? Sep 11, 2015 at 17:21
  • Yes, in this context at least. Dec 1, 2015 at 4:12

The phrase is

check the box
tick the box

When you "check the box" you are checking the box of your choice.

checking the box (AmE) = ticking the box (BrE)


They are synonymous. In the UK the v with the short downstroke,long upstroke is almost always used and called a tick. An x is usually used in the US and referred to as a check mark.

  • 1
    "Check mark" is more commonly used, in the US, to refer to what the UK calls a tick mark, which is also common in the US, but is seldom if ever called a tick mark. Sep 24, 2016 at 22:11

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