An idiom is an expression that is commonly understood by speakers of a language but which does not literally mean what it says.
This can make idioms very confusing if you are not a native speaker or even if you are a native speaker but you have just never heard the idiom before.
“In the same vein” is common enough that native speakers of English will be familiar with it, but if you have never heard it, you may feel confused.
What’s this about veins? Is someone going to be bleeding?
Don’t worry! No blood will be spilled in the use of “in the same vein,” and we’ll clear everything up for you in the article below.
What is the meaning of the expression “in the same vein”?
“In the same vein” is an idiom that means “similar to” or “in this same category.”
Examining the idiom “in the same vein”
“In the same vein” isn’t about anything to do with veins, but when you dig down into it, you can see why the idea of similarity is expressed in this way.
If two things are the same vein, whether that’s a vein of blood or a vein in the sense of mining, meaning a line of mineral deposits, they are close together.
“In the same vein” doesn’t necessarily refer to two things that are physically close, but it does mean two things that are similar.
Here are a few ways you would use this phrase. Notice that if it is followed by a preposition that sets up a comparison, that preposition is “as”:
In the sentence below, the use of “in the same vein” at the start of the second sentence implies that the report is somehow related to the situation of concern that is before the city council:
“In a similar vein”
“In a similar vein” can generally be used in the same way as in “in the same vein.”
Note the importance of the article “a” in this idiom. The phrase sounds strange if you say “in the similar vein” instead.
This is the nature of idioms, in which the phrase is a set one and every word in it counts.
Here are a few examples of “in a similar vein” used in a sentence.
Note that one difference between this and “in the same vein” is that when it is used as part of a comparison, the preposition should be “to” and not “as.”
“Along the same lines”
“In the same vein” is interchangeable with the expression “along the same lines.”
You can use see how it slots into the same example sentences used above:
I told Mark we were concerned about the situation in the city council. Along the same lines, have you read this report yet?
Variations on “in the same vein” and “along the same lines”
Because these two expressions are interchangeable, some confusion can occur.
You may sometimes encounter phrases that mix the prepositional phrases and nouns used in the two expressions, such as “along the same vein,” “in the same lines” or “along a similar vein.”
You might even see people mix the prepositions that make a comparison, saying things like, “In a similar vein as her idea . . .”
You should try to avoid mixing these up in this way, but if you do, you will be understood.
The best advice is to try to stick to the standard forms when you use them yourself and pay attention to how others use them.
Language is like a living thing, and it changes over time! These versions may sound strange to some ears, but others won’t notice if you use them, and over time, they might become more common and accepted.
A homophone is a word that sounds exactly the same as another word but is spelled differently. When you use this phrase, watch out for errors involving homonyms of “vein.”
The homophones for “vein” are “vain” and “vane.”
“Vain” means to be arrogant and think too highly of yourself.
“Vane” is less common but you may see people misspell “vein” this way sometimes.
It is most commonly seen as the end of the word “weathervane” although it can also mean a kind of blade.
You might see people use either of these misspellings, so don’t be confused if you encounter it. You should always use the spelling “vein” yourself as these other spellings are always incorrect.
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.