9 Formal Synonyms for “Apples to Apples”

Right, so you’re looking for a formal way to say “apples to apples” when making a comparison.

You’re probably worried that the phrase itself is informal or unprofessional.

Well, it’s a good thing you came to us to learn more then!

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

Is It Formal to Say “Apples to Apples”?

It is not formal to say “apples to apples.” Unfortunately, it is not professional to use it in emails, so you should avoid making comparisons this way (especially in emails).

It means that two things are fundamentally the same.

You might also use “apples to oranges” in some cases. This means two things are fundamentally different and cannot be compared.

Here’s a great example showing you how to use “apples to apples” in a sentence:

Referencing those two is like comparing apples to apples. They’re both very similar in abilities.


  • It’s a direct way to make a comparison.
  • It works well in more informal contexts.


  • Since it’s informal, it doesn’t work well in emails or professional cases.
  • It sometimes requires more of an explanation, which can make the use of the phrase pointless.

So, you can use “apples to apples” informally but not formally. Therefore, you will need some formal alternatives. And it’s time to explore those.

Keep reading to learn what to use instead of saying “apples to apples.” We’ve gathered some of the best synonyms to show you what options you have.

What to Say Instead of “Apples to Apples”

  • Similar comparison
  • Direct comparison
  • Equivalent
  • Parallel
  • Like-for-like comparison
  • Comparable
  • One and the same
  • Direct connection
  • Corresponding

1. Similar Comparison

A good alternative to saying “apples to apples” is “similar comparison.”

This works wonders in formal situations. After all, it’s professional and direct. Generally, this will give you a chance to make a comparison when two things are very similar.

For instance, you can use it when emailing your team. It’s a great choice because it gets to the point quickly and lets them know that you can make a direct connection between two items.

Most recipients will understand the type of comparison you’re making. After all, you really can’t make it any more obvious than this.

Feel free to review this email sample to learn more about how it works:

Dear Team,

These two projects are part of a similar comparison.

Therefore, we should continue to pursue both of them before we decide what’s next.

All the best,
Joey Dommett

2. Direct Comparison

It’s also smart to use “direct comparison” instead of talking about an apples-to-apples comparison.

This synonym is professional and direct (after all, it uses “direct” in the phrase).

So, it’s an effective choice that shows you’re comparing the similarities between two things.

Feel free to use this when informing clients about something. It’s an effective way to keep them engaged and show them that you can make a direct link or comparison between two items.

Also, you can check out this email example if you need more help:

Dear Mr. Pope,

I’d like to make a direct comparison between these two issues.

I’m certain that if we work together to fix one, the other will solve itself.

Best regards,
Jonathan Woodley

3. Equivalent

We also think it’s wise to use “equivalent” as another way to say “apples to apples.”

This one works well in all sorts of contexts.

It’s direct and formal, for starters. But that doesn’t mean you’re only limited to using it in emails.

You can also use it in essays. It’s useful because it allows you to show how two things are similar to each other, which should also point it out to the reader.

So, check out the following examples to learn more about it:

These items are the equivalent of each other. Therefore, there’s no reason to make any further comparisons.

I found that they were equivalent after both experiments took place. The conclusion will, therefore, be easier to make.

4. Parallel

Another formal way to say “apples to apples” is “parallel.”

This one works quite well in legal writing. It shows you’ve studied something and drawn a conclusion that it is similar, if not identical, to another situation.

For instance, you can use it when comparing two court cases. If the cases have similarities, this is generally quite a good way to inform the reader and show them what to expect from them.

Overall, the phrase is direct and clear. That’s what makes it so useful when writing legally and explaining more about a situation.

Feel free to review these legal writing samples to learn more about it:

These cases are parallel to each other. That’s why there are so many overlapping similarities between them.

I’m sure they are parallels, and we must treat them as such. I believe it’s smart to move on with the proceedings.

5. Like-For-Like Comparison

When talking about a “like-for-like comparison,” it means that two things are the same. This is another great professional synonym that works well when making comparisons.

We recommend using this when emailing an employee. It’s an effective way to show them how two things interact with each other (especially if they’re identical).

Generally, you can use this because it’s direct and certain. There are no confusing parts to this phrase, and it shows that you’ve already made a connection.

So, you can review the following sample email to learn more:

Dear Michael,

I’ve managed to find a like-for-like comparison for you.

Please review the attached file and let me know whether you understand it.

Hayley Reynolds

6. Comparable

Next, you can write “comparable” instead of “apples to apples.” This is a great choice that works when writing an essay.

As synonyms go, this one is quite simple yet effective. It shows you’d like to compare two things because they are nearly identical in every way that matters.

Generally, this is a great way to engage the reader. It’s clear and gets to the point, which goes a long way when letting readers know how two things interact.

Readers will appreciate words like this. One-word synonyms will always help to streamline your essays, after all. It will make it easier for people to follow what you’re saying.

Check out these examples to find out more about it:

Both variables are comparable with each other. Therefore, I see no reason why they should be included.

These are both comparable entities. I can see no discernible differences that will change the way I carry this out.

7. One and the Same

For something a bit more informal, you can try “one and the same.” We want to touch on a more informal choice to give you as many contextual options as possible.

This time, you can use it when texting coworkers. It’s a great choice that shows you can see how two things directly relate to each other.

It doesn’t matter what you compare. As long as you see them as equals, you can refer to them as “one and the same.”

It might be conversational, but it’s still correct and effective.

Feel free to review these text message samples to learn more about how it works:

Jen and Duncan are one and the same. They seem to think in identical ways, which can be hard to counter.

I’m afraid both issues are one and the same. I’ve looked into them, but I can’t figure out a solution for either.

8. Direct Connection

Going back to something more obvious and to the point, you can write “direct connection.”

This formal synonym shows that you’re making an apples-to-apples comparison in an email. It suggests that you’ve spotted fundamental similarities between two entities.

So, you can try using it when writing to a client. It’s a helpful way to keep them informed and let them know that you’ve made a comparison that relates to the business they do with you.

If you’re still unsure how it works, check out the following email example:

Dear Ms. Harrison,

I’ve made a direction connection between both of these issues.

Do you mind reviewing what I’ve discovered to tell me more about what you think?

Thank you so much,
Cherie Galley

9. Corresponding

Finally, you can write “corresponding” instead of “apples to apples.” This is a professional and direct way to compare two things that are nearly identical.

Generally, we would use something like this when doing some academic writing.

It’s an effective choice because it shows that two things correspond directly with each other.

After all, making an apples-to-apples comparison is exactly that. It’s comparing apples to apples.

So, you can say that two things are “corresponding” when you’re certain they are the same.

Feel free to review these examples to learn more about how it works:

The corresponding issues need to be reviewed. I’m certain we can solve them both with one common idea.

It’s clear that they are corresponding with each other. However, I do not know the best course of action