Is there a term that describes the relationship between different sentences with the same meaning, in the way "synonym" describes the relationship between different words with the same meaning?

For example:

He's heavier than I am.


He weighs more than I do.

  • It's an interesting question. I haven't thought of an answer yet, but in musing on it, it occurs to me that this phenomenon in music would be called "variations on a theme." – John M. Landsberg Apr 23 '13 at 8:02
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    How about simply "paraphrase"? – jub0bs Apr 23 '13 at 12:46
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    Ok. After some research on Google, I found that the developmental-psychology literature uses the term synonymous sentences. Would that suit you? – jub0bs Apr 23 '13 at 13:15
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    Well, no, that really isn't a paraphrase. A paraphrase is a restatement of the same sentence, clause, phrase, or other word cluster, in other terms or words, usually for the purpose of clarity and/or brevity. "The train was stopped" is a paraphrase of "the train was not allowed to proceed." Between "the signal was red" and "the train was not allowed to proceed," however, not only is there not even one single element of paraphrase, there is not even any NECESSARY connection. Wikipedia can be right, but also can be VERY wrong. – John M. Landsberg Apr 24 '13 at 5:57
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    @ Rune FS: What John said. It's meaningless to say your "Mary" example is a "paraphrase" if you're postulating that the "she" version might be said in a context where we don't know who's being spoken of. If that were the case, the listener would be prompted to ask "Whose life?" - what you call a "paraphrase" there is actually what I say is an "expansion", in that it provides additional information that wasn't in the original, and couldn't be derived from it if you didn't know the context. – FumbleFingers May 17 '13 at 13:35

Exactly as Jubobs said (cannot upvote your comment for some reason), from Webster definition of paraphrase:

A restatement of a text, passage, or work giving the meaning in another form.

Synonyms: rephrasing, restatement, restating, rewording

  • A paraphrase can vary too much from the original in the context of what I'm looking for. E.g. Her life spanned years of incredible change for women. can be paraphrased: Mary lived through an era of liberating reform for women. (source yourdictionary). The latter has some information of the former didn't though they still convey the same point. I'm looking for a term that describes the case where information is not lost between the two sentences – Rune FS May 17 '13 at 7:35
  • @rune fs Use one of the synonyms then: "rewording". The first and original meaning of rewording is to repeat in exactly the same words, only the second definition introduce the idea of "altering the wording of". It's as close to "synonym" as you can get. – P. O. May 17 '13 at 14:11

If one statement comes first, and you write it differently to produce the second, it can be called a restatement.

Restatement noun An act of stating something again or differently, especially more clearly or convincingly - ODO

If the statements are not derived from each other, you can simply call them equivalent.

Equivalent adjective Equal in value, amount, function, meaning, etc. - ODO

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