em 15 de Março de 2019
Confused Word: Between vs Among
The word “between” is usually used to describe something being in the middle of two other things.
- She was trapped between molten lava and the sea.
- I hid the note between two rocks.
- The cameraman was between the zebras and the pride.
When used in this way, between is used with two separate, distinct things (e.g., lava and the sea, a rock and another rock, zebra and the pride).
It is a common misconception that between is used with two things and among is used with three or more things. In fact, between can be used with three or more things as long as they are separate and distinct. For example:
- Share the sweets between Peter, Paul, Fred, and Dan.
The word “among” is usually used to portray the idea of being part of a group or in the midst of a group. Among is usually followed by a plural noun.
- If you live among wolves you have to act like a wolf. (Nikita Khrushchev)
(The term wolves does not portray separate and distinct things. It portrays a group.)
- There is honor among thieves.
(The term thieves does not portray separate and distinct things. It portrays a group.)
- There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement. (E B White)
(Be careful. This does not refer to disagreement between people and countries but to disagreement among people and to disagreement among countries.)
- We find comfort among those who agree with us and growth among those who don’t. (Frank A Clark)