Check Your Grammar: Checkout versus Check Out

Posted on Nov 29, 2017

Have you ever been stuck at the supermarket checkout? Have you tried to check out of a hotel by yourself? Have you ever been confused whether to use checkout or check out when writing the word or phrase down? If your answer to the final question is yes, then check this article out.

Check out vs Checkout

Before we go any further, let us first clarify: yes, there is definitely a difference between checkout and check out. These aren’t words that you can randomly interchange because one of them simply went out of style some years ago.

So let’s get to defining. Checkout, the single word, can be used as both a noun and an adjective. Check out is its verb phrase. Sometimes, check out is spelled as check-out.

Checkout as a noun means either “the last time you leave a hotel” or “the cashier’s line in the supermarket.” As an adjective, it describes the nature of its noun equivalent. Below are some examples of its different usage.

Checkout as a noun:

  1. My checkout from the hotel is at noon.

  2. The checkout in cashier 12 is too long.

Checkout as an adjective:

  1. According to the reservation, our checkout time is 2 p.m. this Friday.

  2. Your mother is waiting for you at the checkout counter on the second floor.

Check out is a verb phrase which means “to sign for something to be in your possession before taking it with you” (like books in a library), “to leave a hotel with your belongings,” or “to purchase goods at a store.” Below are examples of how the phrase is used differently.

  1. I just checked the textbook out from the library when I received your text.

  2. We plan to check out of the hotel after breakfast.

  3. Mom’s almost done checking out the groceries.

Colloquially, the verb phrase can also mean “to look at something with the intention of making an opinion about it,” “to not be present mentally,” or “to be true.”

  1. Check out the move Cate is doing on her skateboard!

  2. You seemed checked out on the whole trip home. Is there a problem?

  3. The story didn’t check out with what she told the police.

So you see, it can be pretty confusing to use checkout and check out. The best way to keep track is to remember this:

   Checkout: one word, noun or adjective

   Check out: two words, verb phrase

Got a grammar problem? Shoot us a message, and we may be able to help! Or go through our blog, and see if we’ve already answered your query. Stay tuned for more Grammar Chaos!


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