Amount to the Same Thing Meaning
Definition: To make no difference; to show that there is virtually no difference between two things, ideas, or concepts.
This expression is used when comparing two things that are essentially the same. If a 12-ounce soda and a 16-ounce soda are roughly the same cost per ounce, you might say, “They amount to the same thing.”
This phrase need not refer to countable or quantitative items. It can also refer to abstract concepts or ideas. Essentially, this idiom is used to illustrate that there is virtually no difference between two items or concepts.
Ways to Use Amount to the Same Thing
Although this idiom uses the word amount, it doesn’t always refer to quantity. It can be used to compare any two things that are considered equal in any way. For example, someone might say that voting for a lesser known political party and not voting at all amount to the same thing.
This idiom has a few different formulations that it can take.
- Amount to the same thing
- Come to the same thing
- Add up to the same thing
All of these carry the same meaning and are used interchangeably.
Examples of Amount to the Same Thing
The example exchange between a father and son below illustrates the correct use of this idiom.
Barry: I didn’t lie, technically. I just didn’t tell the whole truth.
Simon: Withholding any part of the truth is essentially the same as lying, son. Both of those amount to the same thing.
- All those programs amount to the same thing: the slightly comfier flying experience of yore, for a price. – Chicago Tribune
- They know the party regulars who voted for Trump would destroy them and the party if they tried — although you could argue that doing nothing may amount to the same thing.) – Aspen Times
The English idiom amount to the same thing is used to compare two things that are considered to be equal or essentially the same. It can be applied to both quantitative items and abstract concepts.