I know we don't ask the waiter to get us a different order once it has been put on our table, but anyways if you changed your mind and the waiter brought your order and you want to say "can I get an orange juice instead?", will "change/exchange" be used?

Can you change this to an Orange juice?

Can you exchange this to an orange juice?

So should "change" or "exchange" be used?

  • 2
    It should be exchange this for in this sentence. But, that aside, either one can be used. – Jason Bassford May 22 at 7:31
  • So @Jason Bassford, should it be: "Can you please exchange this for an orange juice". – It's about English May 22 at 9:18
  • Yes, that's right. You could also use replace this with. – Jason Bassford May 22 at 9:25
  • @Jason Bassford,what will be more likely :"can you replace this with an orange juice" or "can you exchange this for an orange juice"? – It's about English May 22 at 10:23
  • 1
    Honestly, if I were at a restaurant, I'd say Can you get me an orange juice instead? or Can you make this an orange juice? (In short, you said it the most naturally in your question before bringing up the other words.) I don't know which of the specific phrases here I would prefer. – Jason Bassford May 22 at 11:13

To change means to transform. To exchange means to replace.

Therefore, if you ask:

Please change the orange juice into a steak.

you actually ask for the miracle / magic of the orange juice being transformed into a steak.

If you ask:

Please exchange the orange juice for a steak.

It actually means that you want him to take the orange juice back and bring you a steak instead.

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