LEARNING ENGLISH

TWO MINUTES AT A TIME

Between and Among - Common Mistakes In English

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Introduction

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In this lesson we will learn the differences between the usage of ‘between’ and ‘among’ in written and verbal conversations.

Explanation

Kelly: Generally ‘between’ is used when we refer and compare two things. ‘Among’ is used when more than two things are involved.

Laura: Kelly, even though it’s generally correct, the difference is not only limited to that. We can use ‘between’ when we talk about distinct, individual things, even if there are more than two of them.

Kelly: So it is correct to use the word as: There are many similarities between Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Since we are talking about different specific religions, the use of between is acceptable.

Laura: That’s correct. How about “There are many similarities among the major religions of the world.”?

Kelly: Oh, alright! So we can use ‘among’ when we talk of similar things or a group of similar things even if there are two things!

Laura: That’s right! Choose your favorite T-shirt among the two. Things gets little more different when we speak of a location.

Kelly: Well, can you please further explain that?

Laura: For example, The soldiers are stuck between land mines. This indicates there are not too many landmines. But when we say, “The soldiers are stuck among landmines,” this means there are many landmines.

Kelly: Alright, I understand now. So, should I take those new CDs kept between the books?

Laura: No, Kelly! Those aren’t for you. Choose from among those which are kept in the cupboard.

Kelly: Alright! But keep this as a secret between you and me, okay?

Laura: Oh sure, Kelly! It’s a secret among us!

Football, my Favorite!

Sandra: Who’s your favorite among the players of Barcelona?

Kyle: I’m gonna choose between Pedro, Messi and Xavi.

Sandra: Messi is a hot topic among sports enthusiasts.

Kyle: That’s right! He’s becoming really famous.

Creepy Schizophrenia.

Sandra: I think there is a serious problem with Mrs. Gerald.

Kyle: Yeah, I overheard her doctors talking about schizophrenia.

Sandra: I heard she cannot distinguish between reality and illusion anymore!

Kyle: Maybe! I peeped at her from between the curtains yesterday, she was talking all alone as if she were among a crowd!

Sandra: It feels so creepy. I’m getting goosebumps.

Kyle: Should we keep this as a secret among ourselves?

Sandra: Don’t talk to anybody outside the convent about this. It’s only between you and me now, Ok?


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