The same…as vs the same…that

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When we talk about comparisons, we normally use the expressions ‘the same…as’ and ‘the same…that’. Both expressions mean almost the same – very alike in appearance, behaviour, traits, characteristics, etc., as someone or something else. If something is happening the same as something else, the two things are happening in a way that is similar or exactly the same: ‘The movie was released in the same year as The Dark Knight was released’ and ‘the movie was released in the same year that The Dark Knight was released.’ Both sentences with the constructions ‘the same…as’ and ‘the same…that’ are acceptable. However, the construction ‘the same… as’ is considered more common than the one with ‘the same… that’.
R. W. Burchfield states in his book ‘Fowler’s Modern English Usage’ that when used as an attributive adjective same is usually construed with as. Having said that, in some situations, we use ‘that’ after ‘the same’.
We are here trying to differentiate between the two in the following sentences:
The dagger used in the murder was the same that had been used before.
The dagger used in the murder was the same as the one used before.
According to first sentence, a dagger was used twice, while in second sentence, a different dagger was used each time but they looked the same.
Various types of constructions with ‘the same… as’
She entered the ‘Game of Thrones’ at the same age as Sophie Turner had entered six years earlier. (‘as’ followed by introducing a clause)
Other evidences point in the same direction as the first evidence of the case. (‘as’ followed by a noun or noun phrase)
He gave me the same stern look as before.  (‘as’ followed by an adverb)
When we use the same with a noun, we can follow it by a clause with that, and less commonly with who or which. We can often leave out that, who or which: He’s the same person (that) I spoke to when I applied for my visa.
Be careful!
Use as after a linking verb and NOT that:
This sweater is the same colour as that one.    
This sweater is the same colour that that one.   X
Example sentences of the same…as
Her idea is the same as his.
He’s the same age as his mother-in-law.
She has the same jacket as you have.
Eggs cost the same in retail as they do in wholesale.
Your sister’s wedding is the same as everyone else’s!
She looks exactly the same as she did fifteen years ago.
My neighbour has the same car as my uncle.
He was born on the same day as his brother.
My wife gets the same pay as me but she gets her own car.
I think that Emma’s frock is the same as Amelia’s one.
This tie is the same as the one you bought me on my birthday.
These shoes are the same as the ones I wanted to buy last month.

More example sentences of the same…as
The US just wanted the war to end, the same as other countries did.
Is it the same as going back to school?
He was wearing exactly the same T-shirt as I was.
She wants her relationship to stay the same as the day she met.
The officer again asked him about the murder, and he gave the same answer as before.
It’s the same as calling your friends at your place and having dinner with them.
Doing a job perfectly is not the same as spending a lot of time on it.
The harvest of green mussels this year is going to be the same as it has been previously.
So she put her hair up in the same ponytail as yesterday and casually put on any clothes.
The house is constructed in much the same (=almost the same) way as it was 100 years ago.
Example sentences of the same…that
Your shirt is the same as that one.
Losing your hair isn’t the same as going bald.
It’s the same novel (that) I read when I was at college.
She put on the same dress that she had worn at her sister’s wedding.
The one who fixed the tap is the same person that did it a week ago.
This hotel is the same hotel that was used last year for the meeting.
More example sentences of the same…that
Is this a different airplane or the same airplane that is believed to have crashed in Cross Lake?
The man we met yesterday in the market is the same man that we saw at the mall.
These combat trousers are the same that Mother bought you on your last birthday.
The same ideas that Plato put forward 2500 years ago still influence some modern thinking.
She ran the same distance that Emma did, but her time was 5 minutes less than her.

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