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Common Mistakes and Confusing Words in English

check (v) vs control (v)

If you want the dictionary definition, just double click on any word.

To check means to examine. To make certain that something or someone is correct, safe or suitable by examining it or them quickly.

For example: "You should always check your oil, water and tyres before taking your car on a long trip."

To control means to order, limit, instruct or rule something, or someone's actions or behaviour.

For example: "If you can't control your dog, put it on a lead!"

What you shouldn't do is use the verb control in association with people and the work they do.

For example: "I check my students' homework, but I can't control what they do!"

In Business English there is often a lot of confusion because of the term control in accounting.

In most organizations the controller is the top managerial and financial accountant. The controller supervises the accounting department and assists management in interpreting and utilizing managerial accounting information.