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Consider

I'm driving the same car.

It sounds like me and someone else share one and the same car. But I could mean that my car is just another copy of the same model of the car. How do I express that?

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The thing is, it doesn't really sound like you share the same copy of a car if the context is known. When I get dropped off by a friend, I can say "that's me" to point out my house. At a restaurant, I can say "I'll have what she's having" and it doesn't mean that I intend to share the plate of food. On an airplane, I can say "you seem to be in my seat", without the person thinking I own the seat. If the person you are talking to is totally thick, a wiseass, or a robot, then your best bet is saying "my car is just another copy of the same model of the car". –  Kosmonaut Dec 19 '10 at 17:22
    
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5 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you were to say, in casual conversation,

Tom and I drive the same car.

most Americans would assume you meant the same make and model. You wouldn't have to specify that you did not mean a single shared vehicle. In fact, if you did mean a single vehicle you would probably have to add information to the above example, or phrase the sentence differently, as in

Tom and I share a car.

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Ditto this comment. –  Kaji Dec 19 '10 at 15:42
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"I'm driving a car just like his!"

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Thanks, good idea! Though this appears to be ambiguous again. People could think i meant "with the same bad brakes/form/speed etc". In germany, for example, we can say "Ich fahre das gleiche Auto", which is entirely unambiguous. –  Johannes Schaub - litb Dec 19 '10 at 13:07
    
@Johannes: which is why I didn't use "exactly like his". ;) –  user730 Dec 19 '10 at 13:16
    
M. oh i see! –  Johannes Schaub - litb Dec 19 '10 at 14:04
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You could reduce ambiguity by saying

I'm driving the same model of car.

or

I drive the same model.

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Just to pour petrol on the flames here, consider David Deutsch's use of the word fungible in his latest book The Beginning of Infinity.

So far as I can make out, if you and Deutsch had fungible cars, there would actually be two of them. But they would be identical in every respect, including every consituent atom being the same, and the two cars being in exactly the same location within the space-time continuum.

After reading Deutsch I'm no longer sure what the same means at all, let alone how one could distinguish it from very similar using just the English language!

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Fixed yer link. –  MT_Head Jun 18 '11 at 1:38
    
@MT_Head: Oh lummie! Many thanks. Having only read this question last week, and Deutsch's book last night, I just couldn't resist trying to promote this exotic concept of fungibility. –  FumbleFingers Jun 18 '11 at 1:52
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Identical works well here:

I'm driving an identical car.

Tom and I drive identical cars.

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