Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Saudi Arabia
      • Current Location:
      • Saudi Arabia

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 371
    #1

    Among\Between

    can I ask, what's the difference between:

    1) To devide apples among some people.
    2) To devide apples between some people.


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    #2

    Re: Among\Between

    Hi Jacool,
    Between 2 objects, people
    Among 3 or more.
    Cheers


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #3

    Re: Among\Between

    M-W online:

    Main Entry: 1be·tween
    Pronunciation: bi-'twEn, bE-
    Function: preposition


    usage There is a persistent but unfounded notion that between can be used only of two items and that among must be used for more than two. Between has been used of more than two since Old English; it is especially appropriate to denote a one-to-one relationship, regardless of the number of items. It can be used when the number is unspecified <economic cooperation between nations>, when more than two are enumerated <between you and me and the lamppost> <partitioned between Austria, Prussia, and Russia -- Nathaniel Benchley>, and even when only one item is mentioned (but repetition is implied) <pausing between every sentence to rap the floor -- George Eliot>. Among is more appropriate where the emphasis is on distribution rather than individual relationships <discontent among the peasants>. When among is automatically chosen for more than two, English idiom may be strained <a worthy book that nevertheless falls among many stools -- John Simon> <the author alternates among mod slang, clichés and quotes from literary giants -- A. H. Johnston>.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #4

    Re: Among\Between

    Quote Originally Posted by JACOOL View Post
    can I ask, what's the difference between:

    1) To devide apples among some people.
    2) To devide apples between some people.
    Humble has given you ther general rule for "between" and "among". It's a good rule for most situiations. Riverkid has given you a usage note from a dictionary that explains some of the exceptions for "among". Here is another from the AHD:

    According to a widely repeated but unjustified tradition, “between is used for two, and among for more than two.” It is true that between is the only choice when exactly two entities are specified: the choice between (not among) good and evil, the rivalry between (not among) Great Britain and France. When more than two entities are involved, however, or when the number of entities is unspecified, the choice of one or the other word depends on the intended sense. Between is used when the entities are considered as distinct individuals; among, when they are considered as a mass or collectivity. Thus in the sentence The bomb landed between the houses, the houses are seen as points that define the boundaries of the area of impact (so that we presume that none of the individual houses was hit). In The bomb landed among the houses, the area of impact is considered to be the general location of the houses, taken together (in which case it is left open whether any houses were hit). By the same token, we may speak of a series of wars between the Greek cities, which suggests that each city was an independent participant in the hostilities, or of a series of wars among the Greek cities, which allows for the possibility that the participants were shifting alliances of cities. For this reason, among is used to indicate inclusion in a group: She is among the best of our young sculptors. There is a spy among you. Use between when the entities are seen as determining the limits or endpoints of a range: They searched the area between the river, the farmhouse, and the woods. The truck driver had obviously been drinking between stops.


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    #5

    Re: Among\Between

    Hi,
    Anybody could subscribe to everything told in the 2 posts above. The issue has been elaborated wonderfully. It has never crossed my mind, though it all seems quite obvious.Thanks, Riverkid and Mike. But you both seem to have forgotten to give a short and simple answer to the original question.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #6

    Re: Among\Between

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi,
    Anybody could subscribe to everything told in the 2 posts above. The issue has been elaborated wonderfully. It has never crossed my mind, though it all seems quite obvious.Thanks, Riverkid and Mike. But you both seem to have forgotten to give a short and simple answer to the original question.
    Sometimes the "short and simple" answer is incorrect, at least in some situations.


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    #7

    Re: Among\Between

    Do you mean to say both 1 and 2 are correct?

  3. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #8

    Re: Among\Between

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Do you mean to say both 1 and 2 are correct?
    If more than two people are involved, yes, both are possible. If only two people are involved, only "between" is correct.

    However, it should be remembered that in formal writing, it is probably better to stick to the more traditional rules -- "between" for two people, "among" for more than two -- except in certain situations where the meaning actually changes (as in the case with the bomb). This is not because the traditions are more likely to be correct, but because your formal writing is more likely to have to impress traditionally-minded people.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Saudi Arabia
      • Current Location:
      • Saudi Arabia

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 371
    #9

    Re: Among\Between

    I see, thanks alot to all of you, every budy has helped in a way or another, as riverkid you've mentioned that"Between has been used of more than tow sicne the old English" so it's still used?thanks again to everyone humble, riverkid, Mike- by the way the "bomb" example was very useful - and rewboss, like you gave a final summry
    Last edited by JACOOL; 06-Oct-2006 at 22:15.

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
  •