tell the difference between

tell the difference between (someone and someone else) (or something and something else)

to recognize the things that distinguish people or things. I can't tell the difference between Billy and Bobby. Sam can't tell the difference between Granny Smith and Royal Gala apples.
See also: difference, tell
References in periodicals archive ?
More than 80% of consumers can tell the difference between a professional, human translation and translations offered by automated translation tools.
I don't Know if people can tell the difference between DRINKING that and a bottle of Alpine spring water, unless I need to see the doc about my taste buds.
can buy a cut-price suit along with your groceries - and can most of us even tell the difference between budget or blowout?
Pensioners' Forum Wales says member of the public can find it hard to tell the difference between charity collection bags and ones that private companies use to collect goods that they sell to make a profit.
Can you tell the difference between a coyote and a dog?
Merrydown has defied anyone to tell the difference between new PET bottles and its glass packaging.
A series of disturbing events force Trevor to question his state of mind as he increasingly struggles to tell the difference between fantasy and reality - but uncovering the truth proves to be a dangerous quest.
Cops, prosecutors and judges have found that it isn't as hard as they had feared to tell the difference between a weekend smoker and a medical patient with a doctor's approval.
It's pretty hard to immediately tell the difference between this tiny, threadlike thing and a root hair," says Paul Marek.
M4/M4A1 carbine, NSN 1005-01-361-8208 (The best way to tell the difference between the M16 and M4 BFA's is to remember the M16's is red and the M4's is yellow.
In lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances (antigens) and the body's own cells and tissues.
With rumors and urban legends circulating more frequently and reaching greater numbers of people, it is more important than ever to learn to tell the difference between fact and fiction and truth and falsehood.
Three, she can't tell the difference between a boy liking her as a friend and wanting her for a girlfriend.
SO scientists have done an experiment with 15,000 people asking if they can tell the difference between fake and real smiles.
Packaging is one way for a savvy reader to tell the difference between her favorite author's romance title and another author's mainstream novel.