The following sentences seem to have the same meaning?

1-"That is what I said."

2-"I said it, too."

For instance;

The boss says to an employee: You should not smoke here. It is forbidden. The assistant of the boss who is together with the boss and is not happy about the employee says to the boss:

1- That is what I said.

2- I said it, too.**

Do both sentences completely have the same meaning? If yes, which one do you think is more idiomatic?

  • 1
    No, they don't have completely the same meaning. (a) No. 2 would have to be "I said that too. (b) No. 1 could be used in other contexts, for instance when one person mis-hears what another says and makes an unnecessary correction - "You mean X, don't you?" "That's what I said". Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 14:52
  • 2
    Both examples are perfectly valid, but neither are anywhere near as likely as contracted #3 That's what I said or #4 I said that too. Where #3 would often simply be "confirming" that the words and/or the meaning just contextually established do indeed reflect what I said and/or meant. But #4 only really makes sense in a context where I'm claiming to have expressed the same words and/or meaning as someone else. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 14:15
  • Without a much more complete "prior context" (whatever was said before the utterance cited here), this question has no definitive answer - it's Primarily Opinion-Based, and thus Off Topic Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 14:19

2 Answers 2


The two example sentences from the question:

(1) That is what I said.

(2) I said it, too.

have similar meanings. They might be called related or overlapping meanings. There are situations or contexts in which either would work, and others in which only one would work. Both are likely to be replies, or parts of an exchange of dialog, and so the earlier parts of any such dialog are key to whether the sentences are appropriate and just what meaning they carry.

The answer by user Sam gave two example scenarios. Then the OP, user yunus gave a third. Let's look at number 3 again, slightly modified:

Boss: You should not smoke here, Jones. It is not allowed.

Assistant manager: That's what I said.

Here sentence (1) means that the assistant manager had already given the same instruction to Jones, and implies that Jones did not follow it. A variant on (2) could be used instead:

Boss: You should not smoke here, Jones. It is not allowed.

Assistant manager: I said that too.

Note that "I said it too." does not work here. But (1) and the modified (2) carry much the same meaning here. Also, other statements are a bit more likely here, such as:

  • I said that yesterday.
  • I told you that before, Jones.
  • I already mentioned that to Jones.

Let's explore some other scenarios.

Scenario 4:

Boss: Did you tell Jones that shje could use the computer lab?

Assistant manager: Yes, that's what I said.

Here sentence (1) is appropriate, but (2) simply does not fit.

Scenario 5:

Boss: Did you give Jones written instructions to log out of the computer lab every time?

Assistant manager: Yes. I said it, too.

Here (2) is appropriate, but (1) does not fit.

Scenario 6:

Jones: Dis you say to shut off the red valve, and leave the green one open?

Assistant manager: That's what I said.

Here again (1) works and (2) simply does not work at all.

Note that the contracted version of (1), which might be called (1A) "That's what I said" always caries much the same meaning as the original (1) which uses "that is". (1A) is slightly less formal, and far more common.


It would help if you'd add more context to the question, because these look like replies. What was the statement they were replying to?

Let's invent some examples.

Example 1:

Statement: "Why did we go to this movie? Mission Impossible would have been better."

Reply: "That is what I said!"

Example 2:

Statement: To pass through this gate, you must say the password. Why haven't you spoken it?

Reply, person 1: I said it.

Reply, person 2: I said it, too. We both said it.

Here, you cannot switch the two replies. They are each quite different.

So the final answer is: they don't have the same meaning.

Note: you might be imagining a different "Example 3" where both of your statements fit equally well. And, that's possible also.

  • 1
    @yunus , now you have updated your question, it is indeed different. Yet another situation. So, this answer becomes a bit obsolete. :-) Anyway, let's give other people a chance to answer.
    – Sam
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 15:38

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