What Is Another Way to Say “Apples to Apples”?

Are you trying to compare two things that are fundamentally the same?

Perhaps you think apples to apples is a good choice, but you’re worried it’s incorrect or unprofessional.

Fear not!

This article will teach you how to say apples to apples comparison in different ways.

6 Alternative Ways to Say “Apples to Apples”

Feel free to check out these alternatives to learn a good formal way to say apples to apples:

  • Like for like
  • Comparing oranges to oranges
  • On a level playing field
  • In a fair comparison
  • Equal footing
  • In a balanced comparison

1. Like for Like

The first synonym we want to go with is like for like. You can use a like-for-like comparison when comparing apples to apples. The two phrases are interchangeable.

Generally, this keeps things formal and polite. It’s a great way to let someone know that you’ve looked into something and determined that it’s the same as another thing.

It works best when writing a report. You can use it to show that there are no real differences between two things that someone has asked you to look through.

Check out these examples if you’d like to learn more about it:

It’s a like-for-like comparison. There’s no two ways about it, as I can’t see a way for us to make one win over the other.

I’m sure this is like for like. However, I’ll keep looking into it to determine if there are any relevant changes to discuss.

2. Comparing Oranges to Oranges

Another way to say apples to apples is by simply writing comparing oranges to oranges.

Naturally, the phrases are identical. You can just use a different type of fruit to discuss the similarity between two things.

So, instead of apples, we think it’s good to use oranges, too. Both imply that two things share characteristics that overlap with each other.

It’s conversational and unique. People use apples to apples all the time, but they don’t often use oranges to oranges to keep things interesting in their writing.

Here are some great examples to teach you how to use it:

Talking about that is like comparing oranges to oranges. It simply doesn’t make any sense and wastes everyone’s time.

You’re comparing oranges to oranges. There are no real changes between the two, so we shouldn’t discuss it further.

3. On a Level Playing Field

When writing an email, you can use on a level playing field as an alternative to saying apples to apples.

It shows that two things compare directly to each other because of their similarities.

So, it suggests that there are no real ways to look through something and see any differences. It’s a great one to include when working with a client.

It shows them that you’ve evaluated a situation, but you can’t see any major differences for them.

Here is a great sample email to help you if you still need it:

Dear Mr. Perk,

I’m afraid these are on a level playing field.

I’ll keep looking into it, but the comparisons don’t make sense, as they’re already so similar.

Dan Evans

4. In a Fair Comparison

You can also use in a fair comparison as another way to say apples to apples.

This is a great phrase that shows you’ve looked at something and can’t work out any major differences.

It works quite well when emailing a team of employees.

You can use it to keep everyone updated about a situation and let them know that there’s nothing you can do about an apples-to-apples comparison, as there’s no difference that needs to be looked into.

Also, this email sample should help you to understand it:

Dear Team,

The problems you’ve presented to me are in a fair comparison with each other.

I can’t determine which is more pressing at the moment.

Georgia Radical

5. Equal Footing

It’s also good to use equal footing as a formal synonym for apples to apples.

It shows that two things interact with each other in the same way. It also suggests that there are no clear differences between those things.

Try using it when writing a product review. It’s a great way to show that two things are almost identical, so you can’t make a genuine comparison between them as they don’t differ.

Feel free to review these examples if you’d like to learn more about it:

It’s clear that both products are on equal footing. Therefore, there’s not much we can do but wait and see which one is victorious.

The comparison is on an equal footing. I’m unsure whether we can do anything to turn the tides in our favor.

6. In a Balanced Comparison

Finally, you can use in a balanced comparison as a formal synonym for apples to apples.

It’s a great alternative that shows two things are finely balanced. So, the suggestion is that you can make out a discernible difference between them.

Generally, this is a great choice when you think you’re comparing apples to apples. It lets everyone know that it’s futile and there’s no reason to continue making the same comparison.

For the most part, people will need an explanation as to why two things are the same. So, it’s worth talking about what the balance in the comparison is and how it came about.

You can also check out these examples to learn more about it:

We’re talking about these things in a balanced comparison. There’s no reason to compare them, as they’re the same.

It’s certainly in a balanced comparison right now. There are no fundamental differences worth speaking about.

Is It Correct to Say “Apples to Apples”?

Apples to apples is correct. It’s a great way to compare two fundamentally similar objects.

Most people use it when comparing two items with no differences between them.

This is in stark contrast to apples to oranges. Apples to oranges refers to two objects that might seem similar (as they’re both fruits) but are fundamentally different and can’t be compared.

It’s a conversational way to compare two things. So, you might hear it used in business contexts, but it’s best kept to spoken English rather than in emails.

You can refer to these email samples to learn more about it:

Dear Mr. Potter,

The difference between them is apples to apples.

You may not like it, but there’s nothing to mention about the changes.

Georgia Keating

Dear Thomas,

It’s apples to apples, and there’s no reason to compare these faults.

Sorry for wasting your time.

Warmest regards,
Stacey Silverstone

You may also use the phrase in a hyphenated format. This only works when it comes before a noun, as apples-to-apples becomes a modifier.

Variation: Hyphenating the phrase

  • Correct: It’s apples to apples.
  • Correct: It’s an apples-to-apples comparison.

As you can see, apples-to-apples becomes a compound adjective. It works because it modifies comparison in the example above.

George O'Connor