Difference between Among and Between

Key Difference: ‘Among’ usually denotes something that is part of a group. It defines something that is considered as belonging of a person or a thing to a group. The term ‘between’, on the other hand, denotes something that is in the middle of other things; something that is in the position or interval that separates two things.

 The words among and between are commonly used in English. However, what is the actual difference between the two. The words among and between are usually used interchangeably, and while that actually works in some instances, they can’t be interchanged in all occasions.

‘Among’ usually denotes something that is part of a group. It defines something that is considered as belonging of a person or a thing to a group. The entire group shares a common feature, and the people or things among that group also share this feature. On the other hand, it can also denote a mingling or intermixing of separate objects or things, where the only thing they share is the fact that they belong to the same group.

The term ‘between’, on the other hand, denotes something that is in the middle of other things; something that is in the position or interval that separates two things. It can also denote something that is done or conducted together between two or more people; or something that is shared between people. It can also show a joint ownership or combined effort.

 

The main difference between the two and the easiest way to differentiate the two is to remember that ‘between’ is commonly used to denote something in the middle of two things, whereas ‘among’ is used to denote something in the middle of many things. However, this distinction is not always true, but generally considered as true. Another difference is that ‘between’ is used when the things that follow are separate and distinct, whereas, ‘among’ is used when the things are similar and grouped together.

Comparison between Among and Between:

 

Among

Between

Description

Situated more or less centrally in relation to several other things; being a member or members of a larger set.

At, into, or across the space separating two objects or regions.

Definition (TheFreeDictionary)

  • In the midst of; surrounded by: a pine tree among cedars.
  • In the group, number, or class of: She is among the wealthy.
  • In the company of; in association with: traveling among a group of tourists.
  • By many or the entire number of; with many: a custom popular among the Greeks.
  • By the joint action of: Among us, we will finish the job.
  • With portions to each of: Distribute this among you.
  • With or against one another: Don't fight among yourselves.
  • In or through the position or interval separating: between the trees; between 11 o'clock and 12 o'clock.
  • Intermediate to, as in quantity, amount, or degree: It costs between 15 and 20 dollars.
  • Connecting spatially: a railroad between the two cities.
  • Associating or uniting in a reciprocal action or relationship: an agreement between workers and management; a certain resemblance between the two stories.
  • By the combined effort or effect of: Between them they succeeded.
  • In the combined ownership of: They had only a few dollars between them.
  • As measured against. Often used to express a reciprocal relationship: choose between riding and walking.

Type

Preposition

Preposition

Example

She lived among the tribes.

He was among like-minded people.

That is among the things we must do.

They quarreled among themselves.

I had to travel between New York and Chicago.

My friends were arguing and I was caught in between them.

She lived between the two towns.

Image Courtesy: ckfu.org, grammar-monster.com

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