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receipt vs. bill vs. check

English translation: bill is UK; check is USA and both mean the paper showing how much you owe

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08:10 Nov 13, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: receipt vs. bill vs. check
in which contexts these words are synonymous or have a distinct meaning?
vladex
Local time: 00:51
English translation:bill is UK; check is USA and both mean the paper showing how much you owe
Explanation:
and, as others have said, receipt is what you get when you've paid the bill/check.

"check" in the USA is the spelling used for "cheque" (UK) which also means a mode of payment (to pay by means of a cheque - banking document)
Selected response from:

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 00:51
Grading comment
There are no really wrong answers here, but "receipt is what you get when you've paid the bill/check" will be rewarded with kudoz points :-)
thanx
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +13bill is UK; check is USA and both mean the paper showing how much you owexxxCMJ_Trans
5 +8The first word is the odd one out.Fuad Yahya
5 +3receipt after paymentRHELLER
5all the same (a payment has been made)xxxasusisu
31 everyday context 2 bookkeeping context 3 commercial law/banking context
chica nueva


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +8
The first word is the odd one out.


Explanation:
A receipt is a slip that states that money (or other things) have been received. It is an acknowledgment.

A bill is an itemized list of charges. It is like an invoice.

A check (other than a bank check) is a slip you recieve at a restaurant after you eat. It states what you had and how much you owe. It is a bill, but it mostly used in eating establishments.

Bill and check (in this sense) are similar. Receipt is not.

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  cologne
33 mins

agree  Catherine Norton
41 mins

agree  chopra_2002
1 hr

agree  senin
1 hr

agree  Dorota Cooper
1 hr

agree  airmailrpl: -
2 hrs

agree  MatthewS
5 hrs

agree  Refugio
7 hrs
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
all the same (a payment has been made)


Explanation:
receipt in a supermarket
bill in a restaurant
check in a hotel

xxxasusisu
Local time: 23:51
PRO pts in pair: 26

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  RHELLER: "hotel bill" is proper English in the U.S. AND one can say "we'll take the check" in a restaurant
4 hrs
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +13
bill is UK; check is USA and both mean the paper showing how much you owe


Explanation:
and, as others have said, receipt is what you get when you've paid the bill/check.

"check" in the USA is the spelling used for "cheque" (UK) which also means a mode of payment (to pay by means of a cheque - banking document)

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 00:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 376
Grading comment
There are no really wrong answers here, but "receipt is what you get when you've paid the bill/check" will be rewarded with kudoz points :-)
thanx

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  jerrie
18 mins

agree  cologne
21 mins

agree  David Moore: This is the best, most complete, answer
53 mins

agree  xxxcmwilliams
59 mins

agree  Kardi Kho
1 hr

agree  Henrik Brameus: Yes, it's a UK/US thing mainly.
1 hr

agree  vixen
2 hrs

agree  Syeda Tanbira Zaman
2 hrs

agree  mbc: careful! check is only used in US in a restaurant. the gas/electric bill is mailed to you and you it pay by check.
3 hrs
  -> yes - I meant to add the word "also" in my sentence and somehow failed to do so! i.e. "check is also used...."

neutral  RHELLER: we use bill in the U.S. all the time
4 hrs

agree  Chris Hopley: Rita, would you ask for 'the bill' in a restaurant in the US? In UK English you would. I think that's what CMJ_Trans means with 'bill is UK'.
4 hrs
  -> exactly

agree  DGK T-I: agree for UK ~
4 hrs

agree  MatthewS
4 hrs

neutral  riga: agree with Rita. Chris, "we are ready for the bill" or "can I get my bill" in a restaurant in US. Check is what you have in your checkbook.
5 hrs
  -> back to the great divide...... !!!!!

agree  Maria-Jose Pastor: For the USA: restaurant check, but hotel bill, doctor's bill, electric bill, car repair bill, fuel bill, gas bill -= paid by check and afterwards I receive a receipt.
7 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
receipt after payment


Explanation:
I can only speak for the U.S.

I agree with Fuad that receipt is the piece of paper that one receives AFTER payment. Bill and check are similar to invoices one receives after service but BEFORE payment (and are context-dependent).

As you hand a check (bank check) to the serviceman in payment for the bill, you say, "I'm going to need a receipt".

or
"Please bill me".

Different ways of wording things is very common in the U.S. We do not only have one way of saying it.

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 16:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1252

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  esma
1 hr
  -> thanks!

agree  Maria-Jose Pastor: yes, I pay my car repair (for example) bill by check and get a receipt, however in a restaurant I pay my check by check and get a receipt.
2 hrs
  -> thanks MJP!

agree  DGK T-I: eg:"Michigan Local Phone Service Talk America -To pay your bill online, simply login to the Talk America Members' Area" www.mytalkamerica.com/OnlineBilling.htm
11 hrs
  -> thanks Giuli for the good reference :-)
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
1 everyday context 2 bookkeeping context 3 commercial law/banking context


Explanation:
1 In the context of transactions between individuals and businesses such as shops and restaurants, a 'bill' (account for payment) is called a 'check' in the US in some circumstances.
2 In the context of transactions between businesses, which are often on credit terms (eg with suppliers), 'invoice' and 'statement'are used, rather than bill.
3 In both contexts, a receipt is issued for any cash payments as acknowledgement of cash received.These are issued in duplicate so both parties have a record. (A business invoice for a cash sale may be stamped PAID in which case it becomes 'a receipted invoice'). The receipt becomes legal 'proof of purchase' in case of any claims.
3 In the context of banking and negotiable instruments, cheques and bills of exchange are similar.


Additional references:

Dictionary definitions (Collins Concise English Dictionary London and Glasgow, 1978)
A receipt = written acknowledgement that something has been received
B bill = 1 a statement of charges for goods or services; invoice 2 a bill of exchange; 3 any promissory note
C cheque = 1 a written order to a bank to pay the stated amount from one's account 2 in Scotland, a restaurant bill]
check = 1 [US] one's bill at a restaurant or bar 2 US spelling of cheque

In commercial and banking law (negotiable instruments) (O'Keefe and Farrands "Introduction to New Zealand Law" 1980):
Three of the more common classes of negotiable instruments are bills of exchange, cheques and promissory notes.
bill of exchange = an unconditional order in writing, addressed by one person to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand, or at a fixed or determinable future time, a sum certain in money to, or to the order of, a specified person, or to bearer
cheque = a bill of exchange drawn on a banker payable on demand
promissory note = an unconditional promise in writing made by one person to another signed by the maker, engaging to pay, on demand or at a fixed or determinable future time, a sum certain in money to, or to the order of, a specified person or to bearer. (They are very similar to bills of exchange)




    Collins Concise English Dictionary London and Glasgow,1978
    O'Keefe and Farrands "Introduction to New Zealand Law" 1980
chica nueva
Local time: 10:51
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 83
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