Dear All,

This is the situation: Yesterday, I was paying my groceries at the counter, when I checked whether I could pay the amount with coins. I saw that I was a couple of cents short and I was trying to say to her that I just didn't have enough to pay her in coins.
Now, how would you say this in English, in a natural way? It is just a quick comment, so it should be rather shorter than what my story above, of course. It's just a small thing, but I was thinking about it.

Something like: I can't make it, just not enough, oid.

So what do you say when you're standing at the counter and this happens?

Thanks in advance,

Buffett
You can say, "Sorry, I don't have exact change."
buffett12So what do you say when you're standing at the counter and this happens?
If it's obvious to the cashier that I'm looking for the exact change and not succeeding, I might say,

Well, that's not going to work. There goes another 20!

And I hand them a 20-dollar bill. As I receive the change I may make some remark like,

Once you break them, they're gone, you know.

And I usually receive a sympathetic response in agreement.

What you say always depends on how chatty you want to be, which in turn depends on your mood at the time.

CJ
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Thanks both for your reply.

So I understand that the term 'change', as you both mention it, can also be used to call the first transaction of money. I thought change only meant the money you get back when you pay too much. As in the 20-dollar bill example of CalifJim. But now we I start paying the required amount, that's also called change?
Or do you English-speaking people call coins change?

Thanks again!
buffett12I thought change only meant the money you get back when you pay too much.
Yes, it means that, but not only that. In this meaning, 'change' may include bills as well as coins, or maybe even just bills.

buffett12I start paying the required amount, that's also called change?
For amounts less than a dollar, yes. If something is $18.79 and you have the correct amount for the $18 but you can't find the right coins to make up the 79 cents, you can say that you don't have the exact change.

buffett12do you English-speaking people call coins change?
Yes. 'Coins' is another meaning for the word change. In some contexts we say loose change!

I emptied my wallet, and all I had was a [ten / ten-dollar bill] and some (loose) change.

________________________

And another meaning is simply the equivalent amount, but in smaller denominations.

-- Can you give me change for a twenty? / Can you break a twenty for me?

-- What would you like? A ten and two fives?

-- That's fine. I don't need coins.

CJ