among, between


among, between
Standard usage requires that among be employed to show the relationship of more than two objects or persons and that between be employed to refer to only two objects or, occasionally, to more than two when each object is considered in relation to others. This distinction probably traces from the fact that the tween in between comes from the Old English word for two. The majority of careful speakers observe this distinction, but remember that between can correctly refer to more than two objects in certain instances. We speak of "a trade agreement between Great Britain, France, and the United States" because each country has an individual obligation to each of the others. And we do not say that a triangle is the space among three points or that the water-level route runs among New York, Albany, Cleveland, and Chicago. Keep these examples in mind: "We distributed the toys among Heather, Greg, and Gray." "We distributed the toys between Jill and Gray." "Understanding between nations is desirable."

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

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  • among / between —    Among is used for three or more: Shirley had to choose among four universities she might attend.    Between refers to only two two things: I couldn t decide between blue and green …   Confused words

  • among / between —    Among is used for three or more: Shirley had to choose among four universities she might attend.    Between refers to only two two things: I couldn t decide between blue and green …   Confused words

  • among — *between …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • among */*/*/ [əˈmʌŋ] — [əˈmʌŋst] preposition 1) included in a particular group of people or things Robert was the only one among them who had ever ridden a horse.[/ex] They discussed, among other things, the future of the oil industry.[/ex] The winner was selected from …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • between — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) In the space separating two things Nouns 1. (act of lying between) interjacence, intervenience, interlocation, interpenetration; interjection, interpolation, interlineation, interspersion, intercalation; …   English dictionary for students

  • between — See among. See among, between …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • among — See among, between …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • between — 1. general. Between is an adverb (houses with spaces between) and a preposition (houses with spaces between them). We are concerned here with between as a preposition. 2. between and among. Many people, and usage guides, cling to the idea… …   Modern English usage

  • between — between, among are comparable when they take as object two or more persons or things and indicate their relation (as in position, in a distribution, or in participation). Between in its basic sense applies to only two objects {between Scylla and… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Between — Be*tween , prep. [OE. bytwene, bitweonen, AS. betwe[ o]nan, betwe[ o]num; prefix be by + a form fr. AS. tw[=a] two, akin to Goth. tweihnai two apiece. See {Twain}, and cf. {Atween}, {Betwixt}.] 1. In the space which separates; betwixt; as, New… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English