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As usual I'm studying for the JLPT and I found a word that has the same meaning as another one.

According to the dictionary

  • [変]{か}わる: to change; to be transformed

  • [変化]{へんか} (する): (to) change

If you can explain to me what is the difference and give me some examples of each one I'll be grateful.

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This is the change of the appearance of the same tree as in spring, summer, and autumn. If you regarded it as three variations, it should be 三"変化" as the change of the seasons. If you see it as an animation, it should have been changing "変わる" as seasons going.

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"変わる" is Yamato kotoba or Wago (和語), which is a native Japanese word, while "変化(する)" is Kango (漢語) or Sino-Japanese vocabulary.

I explained the basic difference between 和語 and 漢語 here.

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変わる is a basic verb to mean "change."

変化 is a noun to mean "change."

変化する is the verb version of 変化.

変化(する) is also basic vocabulary, yet it is a little more advanced vocabulary than 変わる. For example, a 4-5 year-old Japanese kids can say 変わる, but not 変化(する).

変化する is said by at least more than 8-10 year-old kids.

イモムシは、さなぎを経て、チョウに変わる。

=芋虫は、蛹を経て、蝶に変化する。

=幼虫が蛹を経て成虫に至る変化を、変態と呼ぶ。

"Let it go, let it go, 生まれ変わるのよ~” "Frozen" can be watched by small kids.

変わる is used for colloquial settings, and 変化 is more often used for academic writings, for example.

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