Monday, February 4

Money Talks

image courtesy of stock.xchng 

Today we’re going to talk about expressions that deal with money.

The main words we’re going to discuss are:

(1)          Money

(2)          Cash

(3)          Change

(4)          Currency

(5)          The meaning of our title

Of course you already know the individual meaning of the 4 words above. The problem is, they tend to be very similar to one another, so they sometimes overlap and it’s difficult to know which one to use in which situation.

Well, don’t worry. We’ll try and learn them one by one.

First, money.


Money” is a general word to express the stuff (bills and coins) that you use to buy things.

Because of this, money takes on the meaning of a resource -- like food, water etc. You can use it, spend it, share it etc. and it can also run out.

For example,

Hey, can I borrow some money?

Sorry I have no money.

I have a little money in the bank.

Why don’t you go and ask your uncle for some money?

As you can also see in our examples, the word “money” is used as an Uncountable Noun. This means that:

many money = X

(a) few money = X

a lot of / much money = Ok

(a) little money = Ok

some money = Ok

any money = Ok


Next, the word “cash” is very similar that’s why it’s often confused with the word “money.”

But the word “cash” is easy to use when you remember that it is the opposite of credit, checks etc. “Cash” means bills and coins that are ready to be spent.

Take a look:

(Situation: in the store)

Clerk: How would you like to pay for your purchase?

Customer: Can I pay by credit card? / by check?

Note:By cash” is wrong. Instead, you can say “pay cash” or “pay in cash.”

If you are confused by the meaning of “pay by check,” please click the link below. You can find the meaning of “check” under item 5.5.

These days it’s very common for people to go around without actual coins and bills (cash) to spend. They just bring their credit cards and debit cards.

If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have enough ready bills or coins with you, you can also say to the store clerk: 

Do you take (accept) debit cards?

-- or --

Do you accept American Express / Visa / MasterCard?

Like I said, checks and credit cards are the opposite of “cash.”

Finally, you can also say:

Oh, I’ve got to get some cash. I’d better run down to the ATM.


Now, “change.”

Change” means money that you receive after you have paid for something. You have probably already heard the generous expression “Keep the change.” 

For example,  

Taxi driver: That’ll be £25.

Passenger: Here you are. Keep the change.

Taxi driver: Thank you.

-- or --

Hey buddy. You forgot your change.

Change” also means coins, not bills:

A: Have you got any change?

B: I have about £5 in change.

And here are other expressions with the word “change” :

  • Loose change = small coins


He emptied all the loose change from his pockets.

  • Spare change = coins of low value  


Beggar: Can you spare a dime / spare some change?

You: No sorry, man. I haven’t got any (spare change).

image courtesy of stock.xchng

  • Change for = bills or coins of lower value that you can exchange


Excuse me, have you got change for $10?


Currency” means the type of money used by a particular country.


Q: What is the currency of Japan called?

A: The currency of Japan is the Japanese Yen.

Here’s a table of some of the world’s currencies:



United States

United Kingdom

South Korea


European Union


Now the problem with currency isn’t the word “currency” itself. The word “currency” is easy to use.

But talking about individual types of currencies becomes difficult and complicated because, as a matter of fact, some of them are Countable Nouns while some of them are Uncountable.

What does this mean?

Well, from our table, the dollar, pound, and euro, are Countable. On the other hand, the yen, won, and baht are Uncountable.

Please don’t be confused. This just means that, as Vocabulary, we say:

1 dollar == > 2 dollars

1 pound == > 2 pounds

1 euro == > 2 euros


1 yen == > 2 yen

1 won == > 2 won

1 baht == > 2 baht

It’s wrong to say:

2 yens = X

2 wons = X

2 bahts = X

So, you have to learn each individual currency in the world to know how to use them.


Our last item to discuss today is the title. This is because our title has two meanings. Take a look:  

Money Talks

If you think the word “talk” is a Noun, then the title means “money conversations.”

On the other hand, if you think “talk” is a Verb, then the two words will make a sentence:

Money talks.

This is a casual idiom in English which means money gives you power.


Money talks in today’s world.

Hope You Learned Something! 

Keep on learning !

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