Say you're at the checkout in a store and you receive a torn five-pound note; what's the best way of asking for a different note?

I myself was thinking of something around the lines of "Excuse me; could I have this changed with a different five-pound note?"; but I'm still unsure whether this sentence is grammatical and that it's the best way of asking the question.

I'd greatly appreciate it if you would provide me with a few sentences I could use in this situation.

1 Answer 1


It is exceptionally unlikely that you will ever receive a torn £5 note. They are made of a polymer and almost impossible to tear.

The paper notes would get slightly torn sometimes, but they would still be legal money. I've never rejected a note in my life. So the practical answer would be that it is very unlikely that you would ever need to do this. The only paper note in general circulation is the £20 and as it is the largest note, it can't be in change (the £50 note is not generally used)

As a slightly damaged note is still legal currency, you are asking the shopkeeper for a favour. Asking for a replacement should be tactful:

I'm sorry, could I have an untorn note, please.

Or your expression is completely correct too. But remember, you will never need to ask for this.

  • @AminParvaresh all UK bank notes have a serial number printed twice. As long is the note is reasonably identifiable the basic requirement is that both serial numbers are intact (for an incomplete note you would have to take it to a bank). It is not uncommon to see a note repaired with transparent tape. It does not matter if it is torn or a small corner is missing. In contrast to, say, India, where a bank note must be in perfect condition. Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 19:13

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