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word doubt

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Feb 22, 2008
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Hello, I`m a student of english philology and sometimes writign my essays I have problems to choose the proper word.

In this case I would like to know what is the difference between "among" and "betwee". For example in this sentence what word should I used?:

...all countries will learn between them the best of their culture....

It is the same to use "between" and "among":?::?:


Aug 1, 2007
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Student or Learner
Between is used when there are only two persons or things.
For example:
I was standing between my friends, Paul and Frank (there were only two of my friends there).
The table stood between two chairs.
I was walking between two rows of houses.

Among is used when there are three or more persons or things.
For example:
I was standing among my friends, Paul, Frank and Mike (there were three of them).
The table stood among four chairs.
I was walking in the woods among the trees (there were a lot of the trees in the woods, not only two, for you to use the term between)

Hope it helps



No Longer With Us
Oct 19, 2006
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Sadly, this breaks down when you find the usage "The funds will be divided between all the charities". "Between" is not restricted to two.

Having said that, fundamentally I agree that as a general rule, keep "between" to two and "among" to more than two.

The sentence relating to countries is better phrased as "Among themselves, all countries will discover/learn the best of each other's cultures".


Key Member
Sep 13, 2007
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Attention: I'm not a teacher.

Hi arare,

Between and among are both prepositions, and they are usually followed by nouns. Let's look at
between first.
Between is usually followed by 2 nouns, like this:
…between the mountains and the sea
The nouns can be single, plural or uncountable. The important thing is that between identifies them as
2 separate, individual things (or groups of things). Here are some more examples:
Is there a connection between unemployment and crime?
He shared the money equally between Jake and Mary.
In fact, it is possible to use between with more than 2 things, as long as they are separate things.
He shared the money equally between his 3 grandchildren, Paul, Callum and Nuala.

Now among, or amongst, gives the idea of being part of a group of many, so it's usually followed by a
plural noun phrase. Jackie says her house is:
…among the trees
And some more examples:
Her exam results put her among the top 10% of students in her group.
It gets very lonely, living among strangers

Between distinguishes 2 or more separate things – and is followed by countable or uncountable, single or plural nouns. Among means 'one of many', and usually goes with plural nouns.


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