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  1. #1
    Ju is offline Senior Member
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    Default between and among

    I could not find the old threads discussing about the usage of among and between.

    When I was in school, the guidelines that the teacher taught us were:

    1. between is used for 2 objects
    2. among is used for more than 2 objects

    But I can see most of the sentences are using between even there are more than 2 objects. My sister always needs to write very formal letter for her boss that she would like to know the correct usages of between and among.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: between and among

    Context does matter. If discussing differences, we can use "between" when more than 2 are listed. But in other cases you were taught correctly.

  3. #3
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    moonlike is offline Member
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    Default Re: between and among

    Hi Ju
    Here is something I found in practical English usage by Michael Swan:
    We usually say that somebody or something is between several clearly separate people or things.
    We prefer among when somebody or something is in a group, a crowd or a mass of people or things which we don't see separately.
    Our house is between the woods, the river and the village.
    Your letter is somewhere among all these papers.

    Good luck!
    Being a non-native teacher, I'm so thrilled being in such a superb forum.

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: between and among

    Between | Define Between at Dictionary.com

    It might help to note that the "tween" in "between" is rooted in the word "two" (basically).

    Usage note
    Among expresses a relationship when more than two persons orthings are involved: Distrust spread among even his strongestsupporters. Between is used when only two persons or things areinvolved: between you and me; to decide between tea and coffee. Between also continues to be used, as it has been throughout itsentire history, to express a relationship of persons or thingsconsidered individually, no matter how many: Tossing up coinsbetween three people always takes a little working out.

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