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>.
Usage of "between and among"
Indeed, "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." However, the defintions given in the dictionary seem to a bit difficult for us Asians to understand. So, I would like to add something more for Loveydovey. Here we go.
"Between" is used for "a group of two or very fewspecified individuals" who share something between them. Therefore,
(i)The fees are divided between the employer and the domestic helper.(a group of two individuals)
(ii)Tasks are shared between Peter, Paul and Mary. (a very few specified individuals)
(iii)Agreement has been reached between the government, the trade union and employees. (a very few specified individuals)
(2)Using "between", when two or more people do something, or possess something together.
E.g. We have eight identical suitcases between the six of us.
Between us we managed to fix the computer.
(3)Using between" to distinguish between two or more things
The choice between the ugly and the beauty.
There is one major difference between these projects.
I can't decide between the red roses and the pink roses.
(4) Both "between" and "among" are interchangeable
With a specified number of people or things
E.g. A lottery money of $500 million is shared between (or among) the five lucky persons.( specified number, cf. (1)(ii)&(iii) above )
With a group of people or things that are not individually specified,
E.g. Divide the chocolate bars between (or among) the schoolboys.(not individually specified, cf. (1)(ii)&(iii) above )
(5) Using "between" if something is a secret
To say something bewteen you and one or more others if you want it to be a secret.
E.g. Hey, Mary, don't tell anyone. This is just you and me. Jane has an affair with...
Hey guys, bewteen ouselves, I can't stand the rude manner of the coach.
(Not a teacher)
(Reference is made to "Chambers Essential English Grammar and Usage")