The legal system cannot protect the children; it is time for change.


I have been eating the same food for the last two years; it is time for a change.

I have seen both usages. To my ears, neither sounds ungrammatical. What is the difference? (My gut feeling is that time for a change implies any change, while the agent who expressed the former has some specific change in mind.)

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    There's not really any difference. But It's time for a change is the idiomatically established form (see this earlier question). You'll normally only hear the article-less form as a "soundbite / campaign slogan" from politicians (in particular, I think Obama was keen on it). Dec 26, 2020 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


Both are grammatical, and in the examples the meaning is very similar. "Time for change" implies a general or broad change, and perhaps implies that change is needed but the speaker is not saying what change. "Time for a change" more often is used with a specific proposal, but can also be used for the general case. Often there will be little difference of meaning between the forms.


The only difference is 'a'.

We need to analyze only 'a'

The article 'a' has many usages including : 'a' is used like any to refer in a general way to people or things" https://dict.naver.com/enendict/#/entry/enen/d7290167a32945e39e0313fb39ecc6ac" A person who is sick can't work well. [=people can't work well if they are sick]

Time for change means just 'change' and 'Time for a change' means any/some change.

To my ears (as a non-native English speaker), '"Time for 'a' change" sounds like 'this time is a right time for any change or we need any/some change now'

And without 'a' it might also mean an overblown expression (not specific but just 'change' like "Gentlemen, this is the time for change."

I believe 'change' is broader than 'a change'.

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