In this blog post, we will be discussing the difference between the two commonly confused words: between and among. These words are synonymous and they are both prepositions. The point is that they are often confused not only by English learners but also by native English speakers.
Some English teachers say that we use between for two people or things and among for more than two.
- The inheritance was divided between her two children.
- Between World War I and World War II the country was divided into many provinces.
- Despite the strong wind, Peter and Samantha were walking among the trees.
- A lot of effort has been made to make peace among the peoples of the Balkans, especially after the war.
However, things are not that simple. The real difference between the two prepositions is that between is used to indicate the difference between people or things taken individually while among refers to things taken as a group.
- There isn’t much difference between English, German and Dutch because they belong to the same family of languages. (Here we use between to compare three things mentioned individually).
- Our house is between the woods, the brook and the village road.
- They shared the profit between the five of them.
- Among all candidates who applied for the position, there are just a few who satisfy our needs. (Among here refers to people taken as a group, not individuals.)
- Peter has always felt so safe and sound among his friends and family.
- I’m sure you’ll find the old photo albums among the books in the library.
How to use “between” in a sentence
- The connection between the two criminal offences was obvious.
- There is a strong link between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health.
- There was a large difference between the two brothers both physically and mentally.
- The professor tried to draw a parallel between the two cases.
- John drew a contrast between Eurosong Contest now and in the past century.
- Lara noticed a distinct similarity between Sara and her sister, though.
Between you and me
The phrase is calling for discretion.
- Just between you and me, I think they’re going to get divorced, because they’ve been arguing too much lately.
- If you want to lose weight, try to avoid binge eating in between meals.
How to use “among” in a sentence
- This is a good way to improve and maintain the relationship among friends and relatives.
Among other things
In this context, among means ‘as well as’.
- Among other things, the presidents of the two countries discussed their environmental plans.
with each other
- Our neighbours are always arguing among themselves about housework.
- Don’t talk too much about it, not even among yourselves.
Among and amongst
Both among and amongst are propositions and there is no particular difference in their meaning.
- Their house was settled among/amongst the hills.
- Paul was the only one among/amongst his friends who was against the trip to the nearby village.
However, we may notice that amongst is more formal than among and that it is less commonly used today.
If you really want to learn English but don’t know how to do it and where to start, don’t hesitate to contact us. Book an online English lesson with one of our certified and experienced English teachers and take a test and consultation. Choose the most suitable app: Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook Messenger. You should certainly join us for 30-minute conversation sessions. We are organizing lessons at a 30% discount. Check it out!
In case you have any questions regarding English or Skype private lessons, don’t hesitate to drop us a line on WhatsApp because we’d be happy to hear from you. 🙂