Difference Between Among and Between

Difference Between Among and Between

Among and between are two prepositions that often confuse many English speakers. The main difference between among and between is that among is used to talk about things which are not properly stimulating because they are a part of a group or a mass noun whereas between is used to talk about things that are clearly separated.

Among – Meaning and Usage

Among is a preposition; it is equivalent in meaning to be surrounded by or in the middle of. Among basically has three meanings. Among can refer to,

Situated in the middle of a group of things or people

Don’t forget that you are among your countrymen.

He walked among the gravestones to find her grave.

We walked among the apple trees.

Being a member or members of

Sharks are among the most dangerous animal species of the world.

She was among the first women to vote.

There is honor among thieves.

A division or choice between three or more people or things

His house was divided among his three daughters.

This decision to divide the house caused a division among the relatives.

As seen from the above examples, among indicates the idea of being among a group. Among is often followed by a plural noun.Difference Between Among and Between

Between – Meaning and Usage

Between is both a preposition and an adverb. Since we are comparing between with another preposition, we are only looking at its function as a preposition in this article. Between is used to describe something in the middle of something.

Alice is standing my mother and Jane’s sister.

The distance between point A and point B cannot be calculated.

The link between the two concepts is a fine one.

He calculated the difference between his income and expenditure.

You have to choose between imprisonment and fine.

He travels daily between Colombo and Galle.

Why can’t you understand the difference between right and wrong?

As seen from these examples, the preposition between uses two or more separate and distinct, individual things. The two words that act as the boundary to the thing in the middle should always be distinct and separate. This is the main difference between among and between. When there is a comparison, difference between things, you should always use between.

It is also important to note that between can be used with more than two things, contrarily to the common misconception that it is always used with two things. It can be used with three or even more things as long as they are distinct and separate.Main Difference - Among vs Between

Difference Between Among and Between

Meaning

Among indicates the position of being surrounded by or in the middle of something.

Between refers to the position in the middle of something.

Grammatical Category

Among is a preposition.

Between is a preposition as well as an adverb.

Separation

Among is not used with clearly separate and distinct things.

Between is used with clearly separate and distinct things.

Followed by

Among is often followed by a plural noun.

Between is followed by distinct and separate two or more things.Difference Between Among and Between - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Black Pig” by tanakawho from Tokyo, Japan – Not a black sheep, (CC BY 2.0) via via

“Image 2″ by Thirunavukkarasye-Raveendran – Own work,  via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.


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