Difference Wiki

Change vs. Modify: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 11, 2023
Change refers to making something different, while Modify means to make partial alterations or adjustments.

Key Differences

Change typically signifies a transformation or shift from one state to another. This transformation can be significant and might not retain the original's characteristics. For instance, if someone changes their hairstyle dramatically, they might go from long to short hair. Modify, on the other hand, implies adjustments or tweaks to the existing state. In the context of the same example, if someone modifies their hairstyle, they might just trim it or alter its color slightly without a complete transformation.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
In the context of behavior, when someone decides to change, it often implies a complete overhaul of habits or attitudes, such as someone deciding to live a completely different lifestyle. In contrast, to modify behavior might mean adjusting certain specific behaviors while keeping the core intact. For example, someone might modify their diet by cutting out soda but not making any other dietary changes.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
Within the realms of technology and software, change might mean to replace or overhaul a system or application. It could involve transitioning to a completely different software platform. Meanwhile, to modify a software might mean updating or tweaking certain features without changing the software's fundamental identity.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
When it comes to documentation, a change in a document could mean rewriting it or making substantial content alterations. If a report's conclusions were found to be incorrect, they might be changed to reflect new findings. Modify, in this sense, would mean making smaller edits or revisions to improve clarity, correctness, or detail without altering the primary content or intention of the document.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 11, 2023

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Verb/Noun
Verb/Noun
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
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Extent

Comprehensive transformation
Partial alteration
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Common Context

Complete shift in state or behavior
Adjustments or refinements
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Oct 11, 2023

Final Result

Often different from the original
Retains the essence of the original
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Oct 11, 2023

Nature

Broader in scope
More specific
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Oct 11, 2023

Change and Modify Definitions

Change

To make or become different.
The leaves change color in the fall.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023
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Modify

To make minor changes to something.
I'll modify the design based on your feedback.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 11, 2023

Change

To replace something with another.
I decided to change my shirt.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 11, 2023

Modify

To alter or adjust.
We decided to modify the project timeline.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023

Change

Coins as opposed to paper currency.
Do you have change for a $20 bill?
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Modify

To limit or restrict in meaning.
Adjectives modify nouns.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Change

A shift from one to another.
There was a sudden change in the weather.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Modify

To change in form or character.
He modified his approach to teaching.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 11, 2023

Change

To cause to be different; alter
We decided to change the color of the walls. You can't change the rules in the middle of the game.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

To change in form or character; alter.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To give a completely different form or appearance to; transform
The new homeowners changed the yard into a garden.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

To make less extreme, severe, or strong
Refused to modify her stand on the issue.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To give and receive reciprocally; interchange
Anne and I changed seats so that she could sit next to the aisle.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

(Grammar) To qualify or limit the meaning of. For example, summer modifies day in the phrase a summer day.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To exchange for or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category
Change one's name.
A light that changes colors.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

(Linguistics) To change (a vowel) by umlaut.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; switch
Change methods.
Change sides.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

To be or become modified; change.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To transfer from (one conveyance) to another
In Chicago, we'll have to change planes.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

(transitive) To change part of.
Her publisher advised her to modify a few parts of the book to make it easier to read.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To give or receive the equivalent of (money) in lower denominations or in foreign currency
This machine will change dollar bills into coins. At the airport, the traveler changed British pounds into euros.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

(intransitive) To be or become modified.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To put fresh clothes or coverings on
It's your turn to change the baby. I'll show you how to change the bed.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

(transitive) To set bounds to; to moderate.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To become different or undergo alteration
He changed as he matured. The town grew and changed over the years.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

To qualify the meaning of.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To undergo transformation or transition
The music changed to a slow waltz.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

To change somewhat the form or qualities of; to change a part of something while leaving most parts unchanged; to alter somewhat; as, to modify a contrivance adapted to some mechanical purpose; to modify the terms of a contract.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To go from one phase to another, as the moon or the seasons.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

To limit or reduce in extent or degree; to moderate; to qualify; to lower.
Of his graceHe modifies his first severe decree.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To make an exchange; switch
If you prefer this seat, I'll change with you.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

Make less severe or harsh or extreme;
Please modify this letter to make it more polite
He modified his views on same-gender marriage
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To transfer from one conveyance to another
She changed in Detroit on her way to California.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

Add a modifier to a constituent
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To put on other clothing
We changed for dinner. They changed into work clothes.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

Cause to change; make different; cause a transformation;
The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city
The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To become deeper in tone
His voice began to change at age 13.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Modify

To make less extreme or severe.
She modified her tone during the discussion.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Change

The act, process, or result of altering or modifying
A change in facial expression.
A last-minute change in the schedule.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

The replacing of one thing for another; substitution
A change of atmosphere.
A change of ownership.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A transformation or transition from one state, condition, or phase to another
The change of seasons.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Something different; variety
Ate early for a change.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A different or fresh set of clothing
I brought along a change of shirts to the overnight party.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Money of smaller denomination given or received in exchange for money of higher denomination
Will you give me change of four quarters for a dollar?.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

The balance of money returned when an amount given is more than what is due
I paid $3 for the coffee that cost $2.50, so I received 50 cents in change.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Coins
Loose change was jingling in my pocket.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A pattern or order in which bells are rung.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

In jazz, a change of harmony; a modulation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A market or exchange where business is transacted.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(intransitive) To become something different.
The tadpole changed into a frog.
Stock prices are constantly changing.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To make something into something else.
The fairy changed the frog into a prince.
I had to change the wording of the ad so it would fit.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(transitive) To replace.
Ask the janitor to come and change the lightbulb.
After a brisk walk, I washed up and changed my shirt.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(intransitive) To replace one's clothing.
You can't go into the dressing room while she's changing.
The clowns changed into their costumes before the circus started.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(transitive) To replace the clothing of (the one wearing it).
It's your turn to change the baby.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(intransitive) To transfer to another vehicle (train, bus, etc.)
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(archaic) To exchange.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(transitive) To change hand while riding (a horse).
To change a horse
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

The process of becoming different.
The product is undergoing a change in order to improve it.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(uncountable) Small denominations of money given in exchange for a larger denomination.
Can I get change for this $100 bill please?
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(countable) A replacement.
A change of clothes
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(uncountable) Balance of money returned from the sum paid after deducting the price of a purchase.
A customer who pays with a 10-pound note for a £9 item receives one pound in change.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(uncountable) An amount of cash, usually in the form of coins, but sometimes inclusive of paper money.
Do you have any change on you? I need to make a phone call.
This bus ride requires exact change.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(countable) A transfer between vehicles.
The train journey from Bristol to Nottingham includes a change at Birmingham.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(baseball) A change-up pitch.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

(campanology) Any order in which a number of bells are struck, other than that of the diatonic scale.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A public house; an alehouse.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To alter; to make different; to cause to pass from one state to another; as, to change the position, character, or appearance of a thing; to change the countenance.
Therefore will I change their glory into shame.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To alter by substituting something else for, or by giving up for something else; as, to change the clothes; to change one's occupation; to change one's intention.
They that do change old love for new,Pray gods, they change for worse!
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To give and take reciprocally; to exchange; - followed by with; as, to change place, or hats, or money, with another.
Look upon those thousands with whom thou wouldst not, for any interest, change thy fortune and condition.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Specifically: To give, or receive, smaller denominations of money (technically called change) for; as, to change a gold coin or a bank bill.
He pulled out a thirty-pound note and bid me change it.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To be altered; to undergo variation; as, men sometimes change for the better.
For I am Lord, I change not.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

To pass from one phase to another; as, the moon changes to-morrow night.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Any variation or alteration; a passing from one state or form to another; as, a change of countenance; a change of habits or principles.
Apprehensions of a change of dynasty.
All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A succesion or substitution of one thing in the place of another; a difference; novelty; variety; as, a change of seasons.
Our fathers did for change to France repair.
The ringing grooves of change.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A passing from one phase to another; as, a change of the moon.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Alteration in the order of a series; permutation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

That which makes a variety, or may be substituted for another.
Thirty change (R.V. changes) of garments.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Small money; the money by means of which the larger coins and bank bills are made available in small dealings; hence, the balance returned when payment is tendered by a coin or note exceeding the sum due.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A place where merchants and others meet to transact business; a building appropriated for mercantile transactions.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A public house; an alehouse.
They call an alehouse a change.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Any order in which a number of bells are struck, other than that of the diatonic scale.
Four bells admit twenty-four changes in ringing.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

An event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another;
The change was intended to increase sales
This storm is certainly a change for the worse
The neighborhood had undergone few modifications since his last visit years ago
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A relational difference between states; especially between states before and after some event;
He attributed the change to their marriage
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

The action of changing something;
The change of government had no impact on the economy
His change on abortion cost him the election
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

The result of alteration or modification;
There were marked changes in the lining of the lungs
There had been no change in the mountains
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

The balance of money received when the amount you tender is greater than the amount due;
I paid with a twenty and pocketed the change
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A thing that is different;
He inspected several changes before selecting one
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A different or fresh set of clothes;
She brought a change in her overnight bag
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Coins of small denomination regarded collectively;
He had a pocketful of change
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Money received in return for its equivalent in a larger denomination or a different currency;
He got change for a twenty and used it to pay the taxi driver
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

A difference that is usually pleasant;
He goes to France for variety
It is a refreshing change to meet a woman mechanic
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature;
She changed completely as she grew older
The weather changed last night
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Cause to change; make different; cause a transformation;
The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city
The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Make or become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence;
Her mood changes in accordance with the weather
The supermarket's selection of vegetables varies according to the season
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Lay aside, abandon, or leave for another;
Switch to a different brand of beer
She switched psychiatrists
The car changed lanes
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Change clothes; put on different clothes;
Change before you go to the opera
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category;
Could you convert my dollars into pounds?
He changed his name
Convert centimeters into inches
Convert holdings into shares
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Give to, and receive from, one another;
Would you change places with me?
We have been exchanging letters for a year
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Change from one vehicle or transportation line to another;
She changed in Chicago on her way to the East coast
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Become deeper in tone;
His voice began to change when he was 12 years old
Her voice deepened when she whispered the password
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

Remove or replace the coverings of;
Father had to learn how to change the baby
After each guest we changed the bed linens
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 20, 2022

Change

An act or process of transforming.
The change from a caterpillar to a butterfly is fascinating.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023

FAQs

Does Modify always retain the original's essence?

Generally, modify implies adjustments while retaining the original's core characteristics.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Can Change mean to exchange something?

Yes, like changing clothes or changing a light bulb.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023

Is Change always drastic?

No, change can be subtle or drastic.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Can Modify mean a total overhaul?

Typically, modify implies partial adjustments, not a complete overhaul.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

What's the opposite of Change?

Remain or stay.
Sara Rehman
Oct 11, 2023

Can Modify mean to improve?

Yes, like modifying a design to enhance its aesthetics.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Can Modify reduce the intensity of something?

Yes, as in modifying one's voice or tone.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Can Change refer to transformation?

Yes, as in personal growth or metamorphosis in nature.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Can Change also mean coins?

Yes, change can refer to coins as opposed to paper currency.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Can Change mean growth?

Yes, as in "change and growth are inevitable."
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Is Modify a synonym for edit?

Often, especially in the context of editing documents or designs.
Sara Rehman
Oct 11, 2023

What's a key difference between Change and Modify?

Change often means a comprehensive shift, while Modify implies tweaks or refinements.
Sara Rehman
Oct 11, 2023

Can a person change their opinion?

Yes, people can change their views based on new information.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023

Does Modify always mean improvement?

Not necessarily. It means alteration, which might or might not be an improvement.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Can Modify refer to altering a plan?

Yes, like modifying a travel itinerary or a business strategy.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

How is Change used in the context of seasons?

As in "a change of seasons" meaning a transition from one season to another.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 11, 2023

Is Modify a more technical term?

It can be, especially in fields like engineering or software development.
Sara Rehman
Oct 11, 2023

Does Change always indicate progress?

No, change can be positive, negative, or neutral.
Sara Rehman
Oct 11, 2023

Is Modify used in grammar?

Yes, as in how adjectives modify nouns.
Janet White
Oct 11, 2023

Can societies undergo Change?

Yes, societies can experience cultural, social, or technological changes.
Harlon Moss
Oct 11, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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