Comparing and contrasting questions and answers

Ask your partner about the similarities and differences between some things using questions like those below

    • Is… (exactly) the same as…?/ Are… and… (really) identical?
    • Is… similar to…?
    • What’s the difference between… and…?
    • What do… and… have in common?
    • How similar are… and…?
    • How different are… and…?
    • How much… er is … than…?/ How much more… is… than…?

What kinds of phrases can you use to answer the last three questions?

Do the tasks on the next page to help come up with more suitable phrases.


Brainstorm and arrange the comparing and contrasting phrases

Try to fill the gaps below with as many phrases as you can in order. If you think they are the same, put them next to each other like the examples given below.

1 Answers to “How similar are they?”/ “How different are they?”

absolutely identical/ exactly the same



















completely different/ totally different


  1. Answers to “How much… er is it (than…)?”/ “How much more… is it (than…)?”

much much longer


















a tiny bit longer


Mixed up answers

NB: many are exactly the same and so should go next to each other

Absolutely identical/ Exactly the same

almost completely different

almost exactly the same

almost identical

almost the same

basically the same

nearly the same

only slightly different

only very slightly different

practically the same

fairly similar

rather similar

remarkably similar

surprisingly different

surprisingly similar

very different

very nearly the same

very similar

virtually identical 

Completely different/ Totally different


much much longer 

a great deal longer

a little longer

considerably longer

far longer

much longer

quite a lot longer

slightly longer

somewhat longer

substantially longer 

a tiny bit longer


Suggested answers

Other answers are possible, especially distinguishing between ones which are said to be the same below, so please check with your teacher if you wrote something different.

  • absolutely identical/ exactly the same


    • very nearly the same/ only very slightly different/ almost exactly the same/ almost identical/ virtually identical
    • practically the same/ basically the same/ almost the same/ nearly the same/ only slightly different
    • remarkably similar/ surprisingly similar
    • very similar
    • rather similar
    • fairly similar
    • very different
    • surprisingly different
    • almost completely different
  • completely different/ totally differentNOT – almost similar X slightly the same X very identical X a little similar X



  • much much longer


    • a great deal longer/ far longer/ much longer
    • considerably longer/ substantially longer
    • quite a lot longer
    • somewhat longer
    • a little longer/ slightly longer
  • a tiny bit longer

NOT quite longer X


PDF version for easy saving and printing: Comparing and contrasting questions and answers

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