examine, check, inspect

< Previous | Next >


New Member
Hi again!
I'd like to ask you natives about a word 'Examine'.

What I want to know is...when do you guys use that word? and in what situation? and with what feeling?
As I know, the word 'Examine' means to look something over(I mean, take a closer look).
Am I right?
But I have a question.
What is the difference between 'Check' and 'Examine'?
In what kind of situation you guys would use that word? instead of 'Check' or some others.

Simply the word 'Check' is more common word than the word 'Examine'? or the word 'Examine' is more professional word than 'Check'?

Let me know.
I want to know natives thinking.
Thank you again.
  • Istarion

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello Parkha,
    Have you looked at examples and details of these words in a dictionary?

    From the WR dictionary:
    Examine 1 inspect or study thoroughly to determine the nature or condition of.
    Check 1 examine the accuracy, quality, or condition of.

    As you can see, "check" often implies that you are are trying to verify something you believe/hope to be true. If you "check the engine", you are making sure that it is working properly; if you "examine the engine" you are looking at it closely, perhaps to discover why it isn't working or to try and understand how it works. As you suggest the words can sometimes overlap a little.


    Senior Member
    English English
    If you look at any entry in our dictionary at the top of the page, just below the header you'll see a line of blue links, of which one is 'in context' ~ click on that and it will take you to examples of the word in context/sentences.


    New Member
    Yeah I searched on the dictionary.
    But...I have another question....

    I don't get the difference between 'Inspect' and 'Examine'.
    They are both 'to look at something or someone carefully in order to discover information'....
    What is the difference?


    Senior Member
    Examine is a more general word than inspect. Inspect implies that the speaker literally looks something over. You can't inspect something that doesn't physically exist - for example, I don't think a native speaker would say "inspect his philosophy." But you can examine philosophies and points of view and all sorts of things that don't exist in the physical world.

    Inspect, because it has a more narrow meaning than examine, is the better word to use when your meaning is "looking at something in detail and in person." You might examine a car before you buy it to see if everything works properly, but a better word would be inspect because that implies an attention to physical detail that examine does not.
    < Previous | Next >