Would you like to use a phrase that describes people who see things from the same point of view? The phrase ‘seeing eye to eye’ is a common English saying that can be used to mean just that. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this common phrase.
The phrase ‘seeing eye to eye’ is a common saying in the English language.
When people are said to be ‘seeing eye to eye’ then the phrase implies that they see things from the same (or a similar) perspective.
The phrase is used in a figurative sense and people do not literally look eye to eye as part of the saying. This makes the phrase difficult to translate as a direct saying into languages other than English.
There are several acceptable ways to use the phrase, including to say that people ‘see eye to eye’ or that they are ‘seeing eye to eye’.
The phrase can be used to make a negative form of the saying to imply the opposite meaning, that people are ‘not seeing eye to eye’ or that they do not agree about something.
The phrase can also be used in the negative form to say that ‘[we/they] don’t see eye to eye’.
The issue in question is either said by the speaker, or it can be implied by the rest of the conversation.
The phrase is most often used to refer to two (or more) people.
There are many sayings in English with similar meanings, including that people ‘sit [or eat] around the same table’.
“If you don’t see eye to eye, then you’re never going to get along well when your kids get married. Maybe you should try to invite them to dinner and then cook something that the both of you really like to see if that helps.”
“I went to jail for twenty-five years. It wasn’t because I was guilty, but because nobody on the jury could see eye to eye about the issue and eventually most of them seemed to think that I was.”
“We didn’t see eye to eye about the kind of pizza allowed in the house, and the pineapple is pretty much why we got divorced in the first place.”
“If you don’t see eye to eye with him about the way he irons his shirts, I suggest that you throw some laxative in his drink right before he goes to bed. It won’t solve the argument, but he’ll be up early doing all the laundry.”
The origin of the phrase ‘seeing eye to eye’ is given as the King James Version (KJV) Bible, and the phrase appears as this in most English versions of the Book of Isaiah.
The phrase refers to people who will be in agreement ‘when the Lord shall bring again Zion’, or on the second coming the Lord.
Since its use in the Bible, the phrase has become common in the English language – though it can be confusing to translate as a phrase into other languages where the expression did not become as popular.
The phrase has remained popular in a general sense, and rarely has any kind of religious implication when it is used.
Phrases Similar Seeing Eye to Eye
- Eating/sitting around the same table
Phrases Opposite to Seeing Eye to Eye
What is the Correct Saying?
- See eye to eye
- Seeing eye to eye
Ways People May Say Seeing Eye to Eye Incorrectly
There are several ways in which someone can use the phrase ‘seeing eye to eye’ in the wrong way, or misunderstand the meaning of the phrase.
Someone who does not know prior use of the phrase can confuse its meaning with literal, or just not understand that the phrase has a figurative meaning.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase Eye to Eye
The correct way to use the phrase ‘seeing eye to eye’ is to imply that people are in agreement about an implied or said issue.
People can ‘see eye to eye’, or they can be ‘seeing eye to eye’ about something.