10 Synonyms for “Apples-to-Apples” Comparison

Are you trying to compare two things to show how equal they are? You might think an “apple-to-apple” comparison is good enough.

However, you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for another way to say “apples to apples.” We’ll explore some of the best synonyms available.

Apples to Apples Synonyms

  • Direct comparison
  • Like-for-like comparison
  • Lateral comparison
  • Exact comparison
  • Model for model
  • Line by line
  • Feature by feature
  • Equal
  • Fair
  • Piece by piece


  • “Apples to apples” is a great comparison, though it isn’t ideal formally.
  • You should use “direct comparison” as a formal substitute.
  • “Like-for-like comparison” is great to use more informally.

There you have it! There are plenty of great alternatives for showing that two things are very similar. Let’s go through the most useful ones and how they work!

We’ve also included a section at the end to discuss “apples-to-apples” comparisons. So, you can skip to the end if you’d like to learn whether it’s correct to use “apples to apples.”

Direct Comparison (Formal)

“Direct comparison” is a formal option showing that two things are very similar. It uses “direct” to show no differences between the two chosen items.

It’s more formal than most other options because it does not use a metaphor like “apples to apples.” Instead, it uses simple terms like “direct” to be clear for the reader.

We recommend using it in a formal email to employees, showing them the similarities between a group of things. It sounds much more professional than most other alternatives in this context.

For that reason, we also recommend using “direct comparison” over “apples to apples” whenever you write a business email. It’s much clearer and shows more professionalism.

Here’s a quick look at an email example to give you more information:

Dear Maria,

I would like to share this direct comparison between the stocks with you. Is there anything you can gather from that?

All the best,

Like-for-Like Comparison (Informal)

“Like for like” is a great informal synonym. While it doesn’t teach you how to say “apples to apples” professionally, it still gives you an option that works for conversational situations.

You can use it when discussing matters with colleagues. It shows you’ve found something to be similar (or identical) to something else, and you want to explore it with them.

Generally, you should not use this phrase in formal emails. It can work in some formal cases, but it’s not suited for most professional emails. Therefore, it is not more effective than an “apple-to-apple” comparison in formal situations.

So, make sure you keep both in everyday contexts.

These examples should help you out a bit more:

Well, it’s a like-for-like comparison. Those two things couldn’t be any more identical! Trust me! I’ve seen this before.

You have made a like-for-like comparison, so I get it! Unfortunately, we need to think of something that’s more diverse.

Is It Correct to Say “Apples to Apples”?

It is correct to say “apples to apples,” and it shows that two things are very similar. Therefore, it lets people know that you can’t notice a difference between them, just like comparing apples to apples.

There aren’t any specific rules that say you can’t use it formally. It is appropriate to use when making any type of similar comparison (formal or informal). However, there are definitely better options for formal situations.

“Apples to apples” is generally more conversational. We recommend using it more when talking to friends rather than in a formal email.

You should bookmark this page if you ever need to remind yourself of the rules surrounding “apples-to-apples” comparisons.