compare apples and oranges

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compare apples and oranges

To try to highlight the similarities between two different things—which typically cannot be done. You can't compare your job as a nurse to mine as an engineer—that's comparing apples and oranges!
See also: and, apple, compare, orange
References in periodicals archive ?
Comparing Neuer to Suarez is like comparing apples and oranges.
You'd be comparing apples and oranges, and sometimes comparing apples and oranges to meat and potatoes.
Comparing the bowls, however, is like comparing apples and oranges.
It seems to me like you're comparing apples and oranges,'' said Parks, who is running against Mayor James Hahn next March 8 and has made public safety one of his top issues.
This is a rigorous process where someone systematically collects all the research on a topic, both pro and con, and uses a method to compare the studies that is analogous to comparing apples and oranges by calling them all fruit.
So much for the difficulty of comparing apples and oranges.
Although I understand the argument that criminals will get guns no matter what laws are on the books, some of the arguments used, Mary Bempechat's (Forum, May 5) in particular, are comparing apples and oranges.
It's different from years past, but you can't compare it to years past because you're comparing apples and oranges,'' Karros said.