Idiom:  talk past each other

Image depicting the idiom "talk past each other" with a dog saying woof and a cat saying meow sitting at a table. The caption says, Rover and Kitty had a tendency to talk past each other.


talk past each other / talk past someone:  

  • A situation where two or more people talk about different subjects while believing they are talking about the same thing.

Example sentences

— In American politics the left and the right simply talk past each other without having any real dialogue.

— I know my parents' marriage is going to end in divorce—they constantly talk past each other.

— Our company brought in an outside expert who found we were talking past our customers rather than having a real dialogue.

— It's really important for parents to try to improve communication with their teenagers because it's very easy to talk past one another.

— I thought there was agreement between us but we were merely talking past each other.

— A mediator helped us see we were talking past each other and helped us re-frame the discussion so we could resolve our differences.

— I suddenly realized my boss and I were talking past each other when evaluating my request for a raise. 

— With such huge differences in opinions on immigration, it's not surprising everyone's talking past each other.

— My ex-boyfriend and I seemed to always talk past each other when discussing religion because we saw the concept very differently.

— When my girlfriend said she couldn't believe I'd break up with her right before finals I realized we had been talking past each other for the past 15 minutes.


  • not (be) on the same page

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