Google translate gives "discover" and "detect" for "检测" as well as "examination" and "checking" for "检查".

When talking about COVID-19, should I use 检测 or 检查?

  • 2
    Please can you provide an example sentence to show how the word would be used when talking about Covid-19?
    – blackgreen
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


In general, the difference between the two words is:

检测 means "to test"

检查 means "to inspect" or "to examine", but also "to test" works, in most contexts

When talking about viruses, the two terms are used a bit interchangeably. However you should use 检测 when referring to a diagnostic test:

阳性/阴性检测结果 positive/negative test results

检测冠状病毒的仪器 coronavirus testing devices

大部分患者尚未进行新冠病毒检测 most patients have not been tested for the coronavirus

You can use 检查 when you mean "to inspect" or "to test" more generically:

对外来人口进行检查 conduct tests/inspections (generic) on the foreign population

胸部CT检查发现异常 thoracic CT scan shows anomalies

进行食品安全检查 conduct food safety inspections


Since COVID-19 was mentioned, I want to share some real-world examples of 检测 being used. A few weeks ago, here in Beijing there was an outbreak, and we all needed to get tested (检测) for COVID-19.

The first photo is the notice posted outside our building that we should all get tested (I covered up some local information for privacy):

Notice in our area in Beijing





So when being tested (检测) for COVID-19, we took the nucleic acid test 核酸检测. And I took a photo of my passport and 核酸检测卡 before getting tested:

my passport and 核酸检测卡

  • 有「檢查」一下你COVID-19的「檢測」報告嗎? Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 6:33

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