I cannot understand the meaning of this sentence:

"Sara is as handsome as her husband is ugly."

Can somebody explain it in a clear way?

3 Answers 3


Sarah is handsome.

Her husband is ugly.

she is very handsome.her husband is very ugly.she is as much handsome as her husband is ugly.

The "amount" of handsomeness is equal to the "amount" of ugliness.

Another example would be:

That piece of fruit is as fresh as that bread is stale.

The fruit is very fresh, and the bread is very stale.

  • Maybe they're both just very plain... ;)
    – Alan Third
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 12:47

They have opposite qualities and possess their qualities to the same degree. They are the inverse of each other.

A rainforest is as wet as a desert is dry.

A lion is as ferocious as a lamb is meek.

Crisis-intervention personnel must be as calm as the situation is volatile.


That's a juxtaposition. Two extremities placed together for comparison and contrast.

It tells that Sarah on one hand is really beautiful and places the other extreme condition with it, that her husband is really ugly.

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