"Tick" vs. "check" the box



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?

Dmitrii Bundin

Posted 2015-09-11T03:29:25.853

Reputation: 4 809

1A 'tick' is a 'check mark'. :) – Maulik V – 2015-09-11T06:37:52.503

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 – 2019-08-10T04:46:37.557



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.


Posted 2015-09-11T03:29:25.853

Reputation: 131


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).


Posted 2015-09-11T03:29:25.853

Reputation: 5 448

In simple words, ticking means mark something wit a tick, right? – Dmitrii Bundin – 2015-09-11T17:21:42.030

Yes, in this context at least. – Peter Green – 2015-12-01T04:12:39.340


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)


Posted 2015-09-11T03:29:25.853

Reputation: 63 575


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.

g chambers

Posted 2015-09-11T03:29:25.853

Reputation: 15

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. – Nathan Tuggy – 2016-09-24T22:11:35.993