WEDNESDAY’S WORDS: between vs among

Ever heard somebody wanting to impress say “between you and I?”  Nails on a chalk board to me. Among and between are both prepositions. Among always implies three or more. Between is generally used with just two things.

Since among and between are prepositions, use “me” or “us” as the object.

WRONG: “between you and I”
RIGHT: “between you and me”
WRONG: “among you and we”
RIGHT: “among us or them” (when there are three or more)

Examples in Sentences:

Jane was among the smartest students in her class.
Julie likes to sit between Frank and Cathy.
Tomorrow, Thursday Redux with Ute Carbone

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2 Comments

Filed under Wednesday's Words

2 responses to “WEDNESDAY’S WORDS: between vs among

  1. Nice clear explanation, Rita. Alas, according to CMoS, it’s not quite that simple. While following your guide would make a writer absolutely correct in all cases, between is also accepted as “appropriate for more than two objects if multiple one-to-one relationships are understood from context.” For example, “recognition of laws between the states” would be fine.

    • I bow to your expertise, editor extraordinaire. I guess that’s why the Civil War is also called “the War between the States” and not “the War among the States. I’m presently confounded by when to use commas before “until,” a subordinating conjunction. Oh, well, that’s why there are editors for the comma-challenged.

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