Difference between Among and Amongst

Key difference: The words ‘among’ and ‘amongst’ are prepositions used in a different context. The word ‘amongst’ is quite often used as a synonym for ‘among’. These words are used interchangeably in UK, whereas in US, ‘amongst’ is rarely used as compared to ‘among’.

These words are prepositions which are used to connect the nouns and pronouns. The words ‘among’ and ‘amongst’ are most often used in the English language. Their meaning is all together the same, while ‘amongst’ has become too old in usage.

The word ‘among’ means: in, into, or through the midst of; surrounded by. The word is commonly used in today’s time, due to its short version or size. It is used to point some thing or an individual from a bulk or from many things. It is used to mark the appropriate or the desired one from the various categories.

The words are also used in context to:

  • in the midst of;

For example: They decided to be among the remaining Roman Jews.

  • in the group, class, or number of;

For example: The Principal is among the top board members of the school.

  • to each of;

For example: Santa Claus will distribute the sweets among all the kids.

  • with one another within a group

For example: Teacher said the two students to sort out the matter among them.

The word ‘amongst’ also refer to same context, but its usage differs in some places. The ‘-st’ at the end of amongst is a holdover from a period of English in which ‘s’ sounds were added to words (usually nouns) to make adverbs. This word was known to be more familiar in the English usage terms.

Unlike ‘among’ even ‘amongst’ reflects several usage meanings, such as:

  • in shares or parts to each person (in a group etc);

For example: Divide the Piece of chocolate Pie amongst you all.

  • in the company of; or in association with;

For example: She was traveling in space amongst the group of astronauts.

  • by many or the entire number of; with many

For example: That’s the tradition followed amongst the Zoroastrians.

Comparison between Among and Amongst:

 

Among

Amongst

Meaning according to Oxford English Dictionary

situated more or less centrally in relation to (several other things):

e.g.: Flowers hidden among the roots of the trees.

being a member or members of (a larger set):

e.g.: Snakes are amongst the animals most feared by man.

More frequent in

It is more frequent in American English

It occurs more often in British English.

Popularity

It is the popularly known one in today’s time.

It was the popularly known one in old time.

Usage in US

In the US, among is very often used.

In the US, amongst is very rare and is seldom used.

Used commonly in

It is commonly used with the plural objects of the preposition.

It is mostly used in a dramatic or poetic context.

Examples

It’s a proverb among the Spanish.

It’s a heart disease amongst women.

Image Courtesy: vimeo.com, stormfront.org

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