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In one of my posts (Are "passive participle" and " Passive voice" the same thing in Modern English?) I said

Are "passive participle" and " Passive voice" the same thing in Modern English?

The pattern used there is A and B are the same thing.

Per one of my posts ("mean the same" vs. "mean the same thing"), "mean the same thing" is more preferred than "mean the same" and it is not just stylish thing. According to which, I guess "A and B are the same thing" is more preferred than "A and B are the same".

The question is which one of the following is more preferred? Is it just stylish thing? Are they interchangeable in any cases?

A and B are the same thing

A and B mean the same thing

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You could say that "mean the same" and "mean the same thing" are equivalent. Not so for "are the same" and "are the same thing".
You can have two distinct entities that are the same in many respects, and that would justify saying that they are the same. The still aren't "the same thing."

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  • I guess I've got a clearer understanding. Thank you, that's very kind of you. Would you please give some examples to illustrate a bit more? For instance, John's iPhone and Bob's iPhone are the same (not the same thing).
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 25, 2020 at 7:57
  • You've given an example to illustrate the principle yourself. Well done! I'm going to bed. Mar 25, 2020 at 7:59

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