What Does Check Up on Someone Mean?

To Check Up on Someone Meaning

Definition: To ensure someone is staying on task; to verify the accuracy of or follow up on something.

The phrase to check up on someone or something has several meanings in English. Context clues can help a listener determine the meaning.

Ways to Use To Check Up on Someone or Something

Check up on is a three-part phrasal verb in English, and there are several ways to use this phrase in conversation.

The first is to ensure someone is doing what he or she is supposed to be doing. If your daughter is supposed to be doing her homework, you might check up on her to make sure she’s on task.

Meaning of checking up on youThe second is to verify something. Your boss might ask you to check up on some documents for your newest client to make sure all the information is correct.

The third is to follow up on something. If you haven’t heard from your new client in a few weeks, you might check up on them by sending them an email.

The fourth is related to the phrase to check in on someone. This usually means to make sure someone is doing okay—be it in their work, health, or otherwise. If someone is new to a job, you might check in on him to make sure he is going okay. Similarly, if a relative is sick, you might check in to see if he or she if all right.   

Although this phrasal verb has several meanings, its meaning should be clear in context.

Examples of To Check Up on Someone or Something

Define check in on someoneTo illustrate the ways in which this phrase can be used, we’ll use Bill, the boss at a local construction company, as an example.

Bill decided to check up on Trevor, who is notorious for working at a slow pace.

Bill received an email from a client claiming they were overcharged. Bill promises the client he will check up on it for them.

A few weeks ago, another client sent in a maintenance request. Bill doesn’t know the status of the request, so he’s going to check up on it today.

More Examples

  • But, he said, he hired a lawyer to check up on it and discovered the Osario was deeply in debt. – The Washington Post
  • In late 2008 or early 2009, two F.B.I. agents came to Tanzania to check up on him, Mr. Salim said. – NY Times


The English phrase to check up on someone or something has several meanings. Checking up on someone means to make sure that person is staying on task, while checking up on something means to verify the accuracy of something or follow up on it.