What is the difference between these sentences? What do they mean(come/are)?

Can these words be used interchangeably?

To take things as they come

To take things as they are

2 Answers 2


The words "come" and "are" in isolation are certainly not interchangeable, and do not mean the same thing.

However, these two idioms do mean roughly the same thing - that you accept things you encounter without desiring to change them.

The subtle difference in the meaning of the two expressions is that "as they come" suggests that you evaluate things as you encounter them (as they "come" to you), whereas "as they are" suggests that you accept things in their existing state.


Although similar, these two sentences do have different meanings.

"To take things as they come" refers to future events that you will encounter. Specifically, the action refers to how you will deal with future events once they arrive, and not worry about them now.

"To take things as they are" means that something (bad or good) has happened and that you must accept this in its existing state, and not worry about it. This sentence refers to the present.

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