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Change

E4 Change Word Web

Change

Exceptional Expressions For Everyday Events

Changing the subject, let’s talk about change. Change is widely used as both a verb and a noun, but in all cases it refers to a situation in which something is made or becomes different in some way. A decisive battle in a war might change the course of history. Maple leaves change bright orange and yellow in autumn. Flying from the West Coast to the East Coast of the U.S. may require travelers to change planes several times. School events may require teachers to change or adjust their class schedules. In a science class, students may learn about changes that occur in nature, such as the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. In history, they may study social changes during different eras. In a different context, converting a large bill into smaller denominations, or converting a dollar bill into coins, is called making change.

Changes can be very minor, for instance correcting a typo in a report, or extreme, such as the devastating impacts of a hurricane or flood. Many more explicit words exist that can be used instead of change, such as alter, modify, transform, evolve, adapt, revamp, revise, and mutate.

Follow-Ups

  • How is revolutionizing the design of a car different from altering the design?
  • Would you modify or substitute a recipe?
  • How is the metamorphosis of a person different from the metamorphosis of a caterpillar?

The Spanish Connection

Change is a Middle English word. Experts believe that the Middle English word ultimately came from the Latin words cambiare and cambire, meaning exchange or barter. The Spanish word for change, cambiar, is likely to have come from the same Latin words. Change and cambiar would be cognates if change had not undergone modification in Old French and Middle English. Synonyms of change have remained close to its Latin roots and have corresponding cognates in Spanish.

Word Changes

  • The idiom “sea change” describes a very deep, significant transformation. The industrial revolution brought a sea change in the livelihoods of people around the world. The phrase originated with Shakespeare in his play The Tempest.
  • The Greek prefix meta- has several meanings, one of which is common in words having to do with change, such as metamorphosis and metamorphic rock. Meta- has quite a few uses in specific content areas such as geology and chemistry.
E4 Change Morphology Web

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