To give you the context, let's say you are moving house. Packing stuff is a difficult job as well as moving them to the new place. In my mother language, if I translate it word by word, we say:

Packing in one side, moving in the other side.

Which means not only packing but also moving is difficult. This can be extended to more than two tasks, for example we can go on and say:

...Unpacking is in another side.

Now my question is whether there is a similar pattern in informal English?

  • You mean something like "Packing is sheer drudgery, moving is even worse"? – Hot Licks Apr 3 '15 at 2:00

Packing is a difficult task in itself, let alone moving it.

  • +1 - Good! - Also, "Packing is a difficult task, (or, 'pain in the ass') NOT TO MENTION moving it." – Oldbag Apr 1 '15 at 11:53
  • @Andy I know this one but I guess what I said is a bit different. We also have this in our language. In the pattern I said, you are comparing two or more task and at the same time you are telling the listener that each has its own story and difficulty whereas with 'let alone' you are saying that one task in more difficult than the other. I don't know if I word it clearly – xbmono Apr 1 '15 at 11:56
  • @ismaximum oldbag's comment is also valid in your situation. They mean just about the same thing. :) – Andy Semyonov Apr 1 '15 at 11:58
  • Okay let me ask a question: Is this, in English, similar to my question: There is packing and there is moving. Someone told me this is the similar expression but I doubt it because I never heard this and also whenever I said that I had this feeling that the listener didn't understand – xbmono Apr 1 '15 at 12:02
  • @ismaximum No, in English that phrase absolutely doesn't contrast between packing and moving, it's merely saying packing and moving are two different things. Let alone is used to emphasize the 2nd case/possibility with the 1st like I don't have enough money to buy a car, let alone a luxury car, that means the second possibility is out of consideration because even the 1st isn't a possibility. "Much less", "never mind" are some of the similar idioms that do the same job. – Andy Semyonov Apr 1 '15 at 12:13

A more slang way of saying it would be that the tasks are "a horse apiece". It conveys that two things are the same either way. An example conversation goes like this.

You: Which task is more difficult, packing or moving? Me: It's a horse apiece; both are difficult.

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