Thursday, 7 November 2013


Today's WOTD is: "cambio" = change

In Spanish, “cambio” is a masculine noun of Latin origin commonly used to refer to change. The word “cambio” may also be used to refer to an exchange*/ swap.

*NB The noun “cambio” should not be used to refer to a telephone exchange/ switchboard, which in Spanish are commonly known as “central telefónica”/ “centralita telefónica”.

A related Spanish action word/ verb is “cambiar” and means to change/ to exchange/ to swap/ to switch* over/ to switch to. The action word/ verb “cambiarse” means to get changed (e.g. to put on a change of clothing).

*NB The Spanish action word/ verb “cambiar” should not be used to refer to the switching of something (for example lights) on/ off.

Some expressions with the word “cambio” are:
  • A cambio (in exchange/ in return);
  • A cambio de (in exchange for/ in return for);
  • A las primeras de cambio (quite quickly/ suddenly);
  • Caja de cambios (gear box);
  • Cambio climático (climate change);
  • Cambio de aceite (oil change);
  • Cambio de chip (chip/ SIM card change -literal meaning);
  • Cambio de chip (mindset change/ change the way of looking at things);
  • Cambio de divisas (currency exchange);
  • Cambio de domicilio (change of home address);
  • Cambio de fecha (date change);
  • Cambio de hora (changing of the clocks -e.g. summertime ↔ wintertime);
  • Cambio de guardia (change of the guard);
  • Cambio de imagen (makeover);
  • Cambio de marchas (gear box);
  • Cambio de rasante (gradient change/ the brow of a hill);
  • Cambio de velocidades (gear box);
  • Cambio y fuera (over and out/ roger and out);
  • En cambio (on the other hand/ in contrast);
  • Moneda de cambio (bargaining chip**);
  • Tasa de cambio (currency exchange rate);
  • Tipo de cambio (currency exchange rate);
  • Zona de libre cambio* (free trade area);

*NB Also spelled as one single word, “librecambio”.
**NB Often used to refer to something which is sacrificed in the pursuit of something else which would often be considered less important.

Some examples of the use of "cambio" and related words are:
  • Vivimos en tiempos de cambio constante (we live in a time of constant change);
  • El camarero no nos ha devuelto el cambio (the waiter hasn't given us back our change);
  • ¿Tienes cambio de diez euros? (do you have change of ten Euros);
  • Acabo de cambiar el coche por uno nuevo (I have just swapped my car for a new one);
  • Esa mesa no estaba ahí, la has cambiado, ¿verdad? (that table wasn't there, you have moved it, haven't you?);
  • He tenido que cambiar la contraseña del portátil (I had to change the password on my laptop);
  • Para cambiar de marcha hay que usar el embrague (you need to use the clutch to change gears);
  • Cuando termino el trabajo me cambio y vuelvo a casa (when I finish work, I get changed and return home);
  • A cambio del coche viejo me dieron uno nuevo (in exchange for my old car I was given a new one);
  • Entregué el coche viejo y me dieron uno nuevo a cambio (I handed in my old car and was given a new one in exchange);
  • A las primeras de cambio nos encontramos en la calle (suddenly we found ourselves on the street);
  • Lo que nos retrasó fue una avería en la caja de cambios (a fault in the gearbox was what caused us to be delayed);
  • El hombre es responsible del cambio climático, ¿verdad? (mankind is responsible for climate change, isn't he?);
  • Los cambios de aceite son vitales para el buen funcionamiento de un motor (oil changes are vital for the working of an engine);
  • Un cambio de chip es lo que le hace falta a mucha gente, ¿no crees? (a new approach is what many people need, don't you think?);
  • Buscas una oficina de cambio de divisas, ¿verdad? (you are looking for a foreign currency exchange bureau, aren't you?);
  • El cambio de domicilio no es necesario (no home address change is required);
  • En ese vuelo el cambio de fecha conlleva el pago de gastos de administración ( changing the date of that flight will incur in an admin charge);
  • El otoño nos depara el habitual cambio de hora (autumn brings along the customary changing of the clocks );
  • El cambio de guardia se efectúa por la mañana (the changing of the guard is performed in the morning);
  • Te inclinas por un cambio de imagen, ¿verdad? (you favour a makeover, don't you?);
  • Lo que nos retrasó fue una avería en el cambio de marchas (a fault in the gearbox was what caused us to be delayed);
  • En un cambio de rasante con visibilidad reducida está prohibido parar, ¿verdad? (on the brow of a hill with poor visibility you are not allowed to stop, is that right?);
  • Lo que nos retrasó fue una avería en el cambio de velocidades (a fault in the gearbox was what caused us to be delayed);
  • Tú has llegado bien, en cambio nosotros hemos llegado muy cansados (you have arrived fine, we, on the other hand, have arrived very tired);
  • En contra de mi voluntad quieren usar mis derechos como moneda de cambio (against my will they want to use my rights as a bargaining chip);
  • Querías saber la tasa de cambio entre el euro y el dólar, ¿verdad? (you wanted to know the rate of exchange between the euro and the dollar, didn't you?);
  • Querías saber el tipo de cambio entre el euro y el dólar, ¿verdad? (you wanted to know the rate of exchange between the euro and the dollar, didn't you?); loves the word "cambio" in the YouTube clip: Motivación: El cambio del águila [HD]

For more on the word "cambio", visit: Cambio

*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “cambio” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

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