When comparing words, do you say

"X means the same as Y"


"X means the same thing as Y"

I understand you could get around this and be more clear by saying :

"X has the same meaning as Y"

or any other clearer formulation, but I am genuinely curious about choosing between the two phrases above.

3 Answers 3


'The same' has a determiner and an adjective, so it is leading to a noun. 'As' is not a noun, so the noun must have been elided. The most basic noun is 'thing', so that is what can be implied and inferred. PS: this 'as Y' is also a shortcut, for 'that Y [repeat verb]': 'X means the same [thing] that Y means.'


Same can be either an adjective or a pronoun. They are both correct.

After all these years you look exactly the same. (pronoun)
I am talking about the same thing. (adjective)

  • No, that's not right. When you say the same, that is not a noun. You can't have *two sames.
    – tchrist
    May 2, 2018 at 5:21
  • 1
    @tchrist Looks like it might be a typo, since "pronoun" is mentioned the line before. Violet Bear, you should edit your question.
    – Laurel
    May 2, 2018 at 5:30
  • Thank you. I've just edited it. Yes, it's a pronoun Jun 4, 2018 at 12:17

They are both equally correct.

  • 2
    Please provide some basis for the conclusion you offer here; without further argument or explanation, the conclusion is not especially helpful to reader who wants to understand your thinking.
    – Sven Yargs
    Feb 23, 2016 at 0:18

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