Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 2,330
    #1

    'between' instead of 'among'

    Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today moved to contain damaging reports of a rift among members of the coalition regarding the restoration of the local council elections.

    While Anwar admitted that there may be differences among DAP, PKR and PAS, he stressed that the leaders were still working towards a “cohesive alliance.”

    Could 'between' be used instead of 'among'? I remember being taught that 'between' can be used when the sense of cooperation is implied even when more than two things are involved.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 09-Jan-2010 at 04:44.

  1. ha179's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 171
    #2

    Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    Not a teacher
    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today moved to contain damaging reports of a rift among members of the coalition regarding the restoration of the local council elections.

    While Anwar admitted that there may be differences among DAP, PKR and PAS, he stressed that the leaders were still working towards a “cohesive alliance.”

    Could 'between' be used instead of 'among'? I remember being taught that 'between' can be used when the sense of cooperation is implied.

    Thanks in advance.
    Between is used when there are only two things/people... , for example:There is a distance between you and I while 'among' is used when there are three or more things/people..., for example: I like badminton the most among the sports in my school.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 2,330
    #3

    Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    Could some member/s confirm whether ha179's answer is correct?

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 09-Jan-2010 at 04:49.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,517
    #4

    Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Could some member/s confirm whether ha179's answer is correct?

    Many thanks.
    In general terms hal179 is correct: use among for more than two and between for two. However he was unlucky with his example which should read "There is a distance between you and me," instead of "you and I."

    But you are looking for the exception. Let us see:

    Geraldine Woods explains in her book, English Grammar for Dummies, that you should use between for two and among for more than two with the following exception: "Treaties are made between nations, even if more than two countries sign: 'The treaty to outlaw bubble gum was negotiated between Lybia, the US, Russia and Ecuador."

    Paul Brians in his famous common erros page asserts the following:
    "The “-tween” in “between” is clearly linked to the number two; but, as the Oxford English Dictionary notes, “In all senses, between has, from its earliest appearance, been extended to more than two.” We’re talking about Anglo-Saxon here—early. Pedants have labored to enforce “among” when there are three or more objects under discussion, but largely in vain. Even the pickiest speaker does not naturally say, “A treaty has been negotiated among England, France, and Germany.” "
    (extracted from Non-Errors)

    Not a native speaker

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,517
    #5

    Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    While Anwar admitted that there may be differences among DAP, PKR and PAS, he stressed that the leaders were still working towards a “cohesive alliance.”

    Could 'between' be used instead of 'among'?
    It is difficult to give a direct answer. I would use 'among'.
    But it is better to try to read some other opinions.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 2,330
    #6

    Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    Thanks, Ymnisky.

    So far two members have responded, one who is not a teacher and another who is not a native speaker.

    I would like to know whether native speakers use 'between' or 'among'?

    Many thanks in advance.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
    • Posts: 966
    #7

    Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    While Anwar admitted that there may be differences among DAP, PKR and PAS, he stressed that the leaders were still working towards a “cohesive alliance.”
    between several clearly separated (DAP; PKR; PAS) things or people
    among a mass of things or people we do not see separately

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Oriya
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 2,121
    #8

    Exclamation Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    It is difficult to give a direct answer. I would use 'among'.
    But it is better to try to read some other opinions.
    The grammatical rule says: between is used for two people or entities and among when three or more are involved. But there is always a deviation of the prescriptive rule from the grammatical rule.
    In US, the Associated Press (AP) guide included the maxim that “between introduces two items and among more than two”, arguing that as a result it was correct to write “between you and me” but “among the three of us’”.
    Not withstanding, this is still a matter that’s capable of arousing controversy in the US. In the year 2008, John McIntyre, an editor with the Baltimore Sun, said in a media discussion that between could be used for more than two. Later on he wrote in his paper that he had come across a passage in Robert Dallek’s Nixon and Kissinger that made his point: “Between February 25 and March 4, Kissinger resumed his shuttle diplomacy, traveling between Damascus, Tel Aviv, Cairo, Amman, Riyadh, and Bonn, before his return to the United States.” Mr McIntyre comments, “He did not travel among those six cities; he traveled between one and another seriatim.” This contention has been accepted by British grammarians according to whom sentences like the following are unacceptable:

    1. *She had flour AMONG her fingers.
    2. *I put the shovel somewhere AMONG the backdoor, the tool shed, and the mango tree. So that when the preposition is replaced by ‘between’, the sentences are considered right.
    1. She had flour between her fingers.
    2. I put the shovel somewhere between the backdoor, the tool shed, and the mango tree.
    Therefore, it is no wonder that some body has prescribed this guideline:
    § Use between when something/ someone is between several clearly separated thing/ people. Use among when something/ someone is in a group/ crowd/ mass which we cannot see separately.
    e.g:
    My villa is between the woods, the river and the village.
    Your villa is hidden among the trees.
    Last edited by sarat_106; 09-Jan-2010 at 10:14.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,592
    #9

    Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    In your example, Elaine, I would use "between".

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 2,330
    #10

    Re: 'between' instead of 'among'

    Many thanks to all the members who have responded to my post.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •