When I discuss something in the meeting, I said 'We can use something like XXX to check errors".

What I meant was, not XXX, but similar thing that can serve our purpose better. But, it seems others understood I meant 'Let's use XXX'.

Because others said, 'No, let's not use xxx'. So I had to say 'No, not XXX, but something that's lighter, but serves same purpose'

My question: Does 'something like xxx' mean xxx? or something similar to xxx but not xxx?

or It was still the second but because I didn't add any explanation after something like xxx eg) I had to say in full "Let's use something like XXX, but lighter"


2 Answers 2


Yes, "something like XXX" means "something similar to XXX". However, XXX can be considered "something like XXX" when it is suggested as in your context. After all, what is more like XXX than XXX itself? For example:

Q: I would like Mexican food. Do you have something like a burrito?

A: Yes, we have burritos.

In your context it is reasonable for someone to respond, "let's not use XXX", but they should still address using something similar to but different from XXX.

In contexts where you specifically do intend to mean something similar to XXX but not XXX itself, it can be helpful to explicitly say so, such as "something like XXX, but different."


"Something like xx" means some system similar to xx, it could even be xx itself, but without that level of commitment of saying "we should defintely use xx".

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