"Are you comparing like to like?"

I can’t understand the phrase: “Are you comparing like to like?” What does that mean? Please help me.

It means when you compare two things that are similar (i.e. “like” each other), and are therefore comparable. The question is often asked in doubt, i.e. the questionner doubts that the two things should be compared.
If you give us the context we can be more specific.

This phrase is from “Steve’s Corner”>April 2004 - “When you finish writing, before submitting the text, check your prose against the CLEAN criteria.Is it logical? Do your verbs agree with their subjects? Have you got the verb tenses right? Have you left steps out in your arguments? Are you comparing like to like?..”

Can you provide a link to the lesson? It’s still not clear to me.

I took this text from web site: Steve's Corner - LingQ Language Library - Steve’s Corner - April 2004

I can’t easily see the lesson there, so i don’t know the exact context, but " like with like" usually means " a fair comparison"… “are you making a fair comparison?”


"this car is much faster than that car "
“but this one has a much bigger engine, it’s not a fair comparison, you are not camparing like with like”

-------double post------

Thank you very much. Now I understand this phrase quite well.