like chalk and cheese

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Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) very similar

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b) faux-amis

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c) completely different

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If two people are like chalk and cheese, they are completely different from each other. ‘like chalk and cheese’ is the opposite of ‘like two peas in a pod’.

French translation

le jour et la nuit


Examples in context

‘Oxford University beat Cambridge to win Boat Race by length and a half

Having accepted the trophy and attended to the team custom of throwing the victorious cox into the freezing water, The Oxford president, Alex Davidson, a loser last year, voiced his delight at his team’s change in fortune. "It’s completely chalk and cheese, it’s such a different feeling," he said. "I’m very happy with the performance and proud of the result.’

The Guardian, 31 March 2013


Science and politics : chalk and cheese ?

Science may be vital, but the people with scientific knowledge seem less connected than ever to the people with power

What do you want from science ? A cure for cancer ? Clean energy ? A jetpack to get you to work ?
If you’re a politician, you might rely on science to help create jobs or direct policy, or support a decision you’ve already made. If you’re a scientist, you might just want to know stuff. You might even sneer at the idea of a politician grappling with the nuanced ideas you have dedicated decades of your life to.’

The Guardian, 4 May 2012


Everyday usage

My brother and I are like chalk and cheese.

Although they are like chalk and cheese, Cyril and Jean-Luc share a peaceful friendship.

Missed last week’s phrase ? Catch up here

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