tell (things) apart

This page is about the idiom tell (things) apart


If you can tell things apart, you can see they're not the same by spotting the differences between them.

For example

  • I couldn't tell the twins apart when they were babies, but I can tell them apart now.

  • I've heard all three recordings of the song, and I can't tell them apart. They all sound the same to me.

Usually used in the negative, as in "I can't tell them apart" or in the interrogative, as in "Can you tell them apart?"

Quick Quiz

I can't tell the puppies apart. They

a. don't understand what I'm saying

b. want to stay together

c. all look the same to me

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey