When you talk about substantive change, you mean change that really makes a difference. After a substantive discussion, you will have an in depth understanding of what you are talking about.
When something is substantive, there is a lot of there there, be it meaning or volume of things. The word brings a serious tone. While it is often used to talk about problems and their solutions, a big steak dinner could be called substantive as could a very long piece of writing. In any case, you use it when there is a lot of substance involved.
n any word or group of words functioning as a noun
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a content word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or action
a noun that is singular in form but refers to a group of people or things
a noun that does not form plurals
a noun that forms plurals
a noun that does not specify either masculine or feminine gender
proper name, proper noun
a noun that denotes a particular thing; usually capitalized
a noun that denotes any or all members of a class
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a unit of language that native speakers can identify