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    #1

    change

    When referring to currency, does 'change' always mean coins? I have heard, "let me check if I have change," and then the person pulls out bills. I'm not sure what to expect (bills or coins) when someone says that to me at work (I am a cashier at a grocery store).

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: change

    If the customer says "let me see if I have change" I would assume they meant the coins that would match the cents on the total. If I buy something and the total comes to $6.27, I may hand the person a ten-dollar bill and then say that, and pull out 27 cents, so I get bills back instead of coins.

    On the other hand, when you give back their change, you mean the total. If I just gave you a ten-dollar bill, my change is $3.73. If I give you the $10.27, my change is four dollars even.

    So "change" has two meanings: coins, and then the difference between the purchase price and amount tendered.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: change

    If I ask if anyone has change for a $20, I probably just want smaller bills, not the entire thing in coins.

    If I tell the waitress to "keep the change" I am tipping her the difference between the total I am being charged and the amount of cash I have given her.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: change

    Ah, good point. Three meanings, then. "Change for a $20" means smaller bills, indeed!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: change

    Thank you, Barb_D and SoothingDave! That was very helpful :)

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