Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

In this second episode of a three-part series, we talk about ‘check on.’

You’ll learn how this phrasal verb is different from ‘check-out’ and ‘check-in.’

Listen in today and find out the two ways we use ‘check on’ in English.

Check on

Lindsay asks Aubrey what she checks on at least once every day.

Aubrey answers she checks on her kids’ grades at least once a day.

This information is easily accessed online which is why she is able to frequently check on it.

She is able to see any missing assignments.

As a mom, Aubrey often checks on things such as something she is cooking.

Today’s episode is the second part of a three-part series.

A student asked to break down the phrasal verbs ‘check out,’ ‘check in’ and ‘check on.’

The first part was episode AEE 2107: Check Out These English Phrasal Verbs! where Aubrey and Lindsay discussed ‘check out.’

For this episode, Lindsay and Aubrey will be covering ‘check on.’

How to use ‘check on’

There are two ways you can use the phrasal verb ‘check on.’

We’ll share each of these with examples.

#1: Monitoring progress

You can use ‘check on’ to mean that you are monitoring the progress of something or someone.

This is often used to see the condition of something or if something has changed.

The doctor checked on his patient.
I need to check on the cake I’m baking.

#2: Checking safety

Another way to use ‘check on’ is to say you are making sure someone is safe or correct.

I need to check on my kids.
The police are checking on the man they saw loitering.

‘Check on’ shows care

‘Check on’ is often used to say you are contacting someone by making a phone call or short visit in a very personal way.

In this context, you are checking to see if they are having any problems.

If you ‘check on’ a friend, you are asking if they are doing well.

We use this phrasal verb when we think someone might be going through difficulty.

We use it to show care.

‘Check in’ for business English

On the other hand, ‘check in’ is less personal.

We use this most often at work so Lindsay and Aubrey will be doing a final installment of this series on The Business English podcast of All Ears English.

They will cover why it’s vital to check in with coworkers and the best way to do it.


Here is a quick roleplay from Lindsay and Aubrey to show how you can use ‘check on’ in a conversation.

In this scenario, Aubrey and Lindsay are at a restaurant.

Lindsay: Should we check on our order? It’s been quite awhile.
Aubrey: Yeah, maybe. I need to check on my kids. Do you mind asking while I make a quick phone call?
Lindsay: Sure. Don’t forget to tell your daughter to check on my dog. And thank her for pet-sitting for me!


Phrasal verbs can be confusing.

Some may sound similar, like ‘check in’ and ‘check on’ but they often have different meanings.

Hopefully, today’s tips can help you use ‘check on’ to connect in English about people or things you need to check on.

Continue to be confident in trying new phrasal verbs in your daily English conversations.

Making the connection is the most important and perfecting the way you communicate comes second.

What other phrasal verbs do you find confusing?

Share one with us in the comments below and we may make another episode to help.

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