I was recently speaking with my boss about how I dislike my new commute to work. I also know she has a commute longer than mine. I was going to tell her I knew I was "preaching to the choir" but that doesn't seem to fit. As I understand it, that idiom is used to demonstrate attempting to convince someone who's already convinced. I wasn't trying to convince her "long commutes are bad" I was trying to point out that she'd be able to relate to my situation, even though she has it worse. i.e: "You understand, you have a longer commute than I do!"

I have searched for "preaching to the choir" synonyms and antonyms but I take the same issue with anything I find. At the end of this question the user suggests evolution of "preaching to the choir" to represent my situation, but nothing else I found supports this, and it seems to me that's just improper usage.

Am I wrong that "preaching to the choir" doesn't fit my situation? If I'm not, is there an idiom that represents it better?

  • I would have said with her, you were preaching to the converted as opposed to choir. Some thoughts on this at english.stackexchange.com/questions/72711/…
    – k1eran
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 14:48
  • But it's quite possible your boss isn't "converted" to your opinion that the daily commute is excessively burdensome. The boss usually gets paid more than their staff, so they might think time they spend commuting is quite reasonable considering how much they get paid. You could say something like You should resent the long commute more than me, because you live further away, but I wouldn't recommend trying to "cozy up" to the boss like that - even if he did agree with you, he probably won't/can't pay you any more (paying staff for commute time is actually illegal in the UK). Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 15:08
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    The best I can come up with (not by any means a perfect fit, so no 'answer', though what I'd probably use): "Your commute is in a different league." Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 11:48
  • @k1eran, As they are essentially synonymous, I have the same issue with preaching to the converted as preaching to the choir.
    – Joe J
    Commented Nov 26, 2019 at 15:31
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    @JoeJ Maybe it is just in my head, but it seems to me that the choir usually implies more than one person, whereas the converted can be just one or more than one. That's why I thought when speaking to just your boss the converted seems more natural. However, I am not 100% sure if everyone thinks like that about these idioms.
    – k1eran
    Commented Nov 26, 2019 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


pale in comparison

to seem much less serious or important when compared with someone or something else:

I thought I was badly treated but my experiences pale in comparison with yours.

Source: Cambridge Dictionary

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    Certainly in the right area. But perhaps too melodramatic for long commutes. Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 11:43
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    I tend to agree with Edwin. I suppose if I chose to word it "I know my commute pales in comparison to yours, but..." then I think that fits. I don't think it's something I'd actually say, but I'll accept this as the best alternative to preaching to the choir.
    – Joe J
    Commented Nov 26, 2019 at 15:41

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