When we want to exchange a banknote of a high value (say a $100) with ones lesser in value (say $50 + $20 + $20 + $10), we say: "I want to break this $100".

If you needed to do the opposite, what would be the correct word to use?

  • Combine would be too simple? Feb 5 at 5:52
  • @YosefBaskin - It wouldn't sound native, at least where I live.
    – Adam
    Feb 7 at 0:49

Going by dictionary definitions, consolidate would be the correct word, but there is no guarantee that, in fast real-life communication, it would be immediately understood to have been intended in this way. There simply is no word (or even a short phrase) that can be used for this transaction, as readily as break can be used for its opposite. This is probably because people need to perform this transaction much less often than they need to break large banknotes. The clearest way to convey that one would like to perform this transaction is to describe it, rather than attempt to use a single word for it: 'Would you be so kind to exchange this [showing one's cash] for a single $100 note?'


As far as I can discover, there isn't a verb for this. (Contrary to popular belief, English does not have a word for everything.)

  • It just becomes a bit of a problem when you need to translate a text from a language to another.
    – Adam
    Feb 5 at 10:46

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