What is the difference between BETWEEN and AMONG?
1. How to Use “Between”
- Often used for two items
Anne’s shop is between the library and a dinner.
(Although between is often used between 2 things, it is not always. Sometimes between is used with more than 2 things.)
- When naming distinct, individual items (can be 2, 3, or more)
I can’t decide between the green shirt, the blue shirt, and the black shirt.
There is a trade agreement between Mexico, Canada and the US.
- Use between…and to connect times or numbers
They lived in Paris between 1996 and 2000.
What were you doing between 5.30 pm and 7.00 pm?
- We use between when we talk about physical location to describe something at specific path or point
Bolivia lies between Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.
I walk between the trees and the house.
- We use difference with between
There is a striking difference between Jane and Mary.
“Between you and me” – never “Between you and I”
(This expression is used when you want the other person to keep some information a secret.)
Between you and me, I don’t think she has a chance of getting that promotion.
2. How to Use “Among”
- Often used for three items or more
The ancient fountain was hidden among the trees.
- When the items are part of a group, or are not specifically named (MUST be 3 or more)
I can’t decide among these shirts.
Trade agreements exist among countries.
- We often use among when we talk about physical location to describe something that is in the middle of many things (no defined path)
An elk stood among the trees.
The green apple is among the red ones.
- We use distribute with among
The money was distributed among schools in the area.
- In the phrases among others and among other things, among means ‘as well as’
Her parents, among others, were worried about her travelling alone.
Among other things, I still have to pack.