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Is there any difference between change to something and change over to something? For example:

I changed from the phone to the tablet because it's more convenient.

I changed from the phone over to the tablet because it's more convenient.

This dictionary basically says they means the same. Why include more over if it adds nothing to the meaning?

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"Change over to" means to switch from one thing to another. It adds more meaning than simply the word "change".

"I changed from a phone to a tablet" could mean that you got rid of your phone and replaced it with a tablet. If you want to get surreal you could also suggest that it means you were a phone, and then you became a tablet (consider "he changed from a tadpole to a frog")!

"I changed over from a phone to a tablet" makes it clearer you have are moving from one device to another.

You are right, that if the context is clear then either could be used, they would mean the same and there would be no confusion using either. The fact that both phrases exist is because of the different contexts in which they could be used.

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  • I'd say over is effectively an intensifier for the "using" sense, where into is the corresponding intensifier for the "becoming" sense. All is metaphor, so perhaps the first is essentially a "distance" metaphor, where the second is "container". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 6 at 15:51

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