Between vs. Among: What's the Difference?
"Between" implies a relation involving two or distinct entities; "Among" indicates a more general, collective relation involving three or more.
"Between" refers to reciprocal or individual relationships involving two items or distinct groups. "Among," however, involves connections in which entities are considered part of a larger whole or collective, typically three or more.
"Between" often denotes a clarity or distinction in the items involved, such as an agreement or comparison where individual elements are identifiable. "Among" suggests a less defined relationship, with elements being part of a collective or group.
"Between" can also convey the idea of choice or distinction, such as selecting between two clear options. "Among" represents a choice or action within a collective, where individual elements may not be as distinctly separated or identified.
"Between" is applicable in both physical and conceptual relations when addressing separate and distinct entities or groups. "Among," though, is used when entities are part of a group or multitude, not as separated or distinct.
"Between" maintains its specificity even when numbers exceed two, provided the entities remain distinct. "Among" inherently implies being part of a larger, indistinct group, irrespective of the number involved.
Number of entities
Two or more distinct
Three or more, not distinct
Type of relationship
Choices, comparisons, individual entities
Groups, collectives, non-distinct entities
Specifies position in relation to two points
Implies being surrounded by or part of
Indistinct, part of a whole
Between and Among Definitions
In the space separating two points
The park is between the library and the cafe.
The cabin is hidden among the trees.
In the interval separating two points in time
She'll arrive between 3 and 4 PM.
Included in a group
He was among the candidates considered.
Indicating a connection
The secret was between the two of them.
In the presence of many
Her voice was lost among the crowd.
Connecting distinct groups
Negotiations between the companies were successful.
Sharing with a group
The tasks were divided among the team members.
In or through the position or interval separating
Between the trees.
Between 11 o'clock and 12 o'clock.
Being a part of a group
She felt at home among friends.
Intermediate to, as in quantity, amount, or degree
It costs between 15 and 20 dollars.
In the midst of; surrounded by
A pine tree among cedars.
A railroad between the two cities.
In the group, number, or class of
She is among the wealthy.
Associating or uniting in a reciprocal action or relationship
An agreement between workers and management.
A certain resemblance between the two stories.
In the company of; in association with
Traveling among a group of tourists.
In confidence restricted to
Between you and me, he is not qualified.
By many or the entire number of; with many
A custom popular among the Greeks.
By the combined effort or effect of
Between them they succeeded.
By the joint action of
Among us, we will finish the job.
In the combined ownership of
They had only a few dollars between them.
With portions to each of
Distribute this among you.
As measured against. Often used to express a reciprocal relationship
Choose between riding and walking.
With or against one another
Don't fight among yourselves. See Usage Note at between.
In an intermediate space, position, or time; in the interim.
Denotes a mingling or intermixing with distinct or separable objects. (See Usage Note at amidst.)
How can you speak with authority about their customs when you have never lived among them?
In the position or interval that separates (two things), or intermediate in quantity or degree. (See Usage notes below.)
John stood between Amy and Mary.
Let's meet between two and three.
I want to buy one that costs somewhere between forty and fifty dollars.
Denotes a belonging of a person or a thing to a group.
He is among the few who completely understand the subject.
Done together or reciprocally.
Conversation between friends
Denotes a sharing of a common feature in a group.
Lactose intolerance is common among people of Asian heritage.
Shared in confidence.
Between you and me, I think the boss is crazy.
Let's keep this between ourselves.
Mixed or mingled; surrounded by.
They heard,And from his presence hid themselves amongThe thickest trees.
In transit from (one to the other, or connecting places).
He's between jobs right now.
The shuttle runs between the town and the airport.
Conjoined, or associated with, or making part of the number of; in the number or class of.
Blessed art thou among women.
Combined (by effort or ownership).
Between us all, we shall succeed.
We've only got £5 between us.
Between the leaky taps and the peeling wallpaper, there isn't much about this house to appeal to a buyer.
Expressing a relation of dispersion, distribution, etc.; also, a relation of reciprocal action.
What news among the merchants?
Human sacrifices were practiced among them.
Divide that gold amongst you.
Whether they quarreled among themselves, or with their neighbors.
One of (representing a choice).
You must choose between him and me.
Some colour-blind people can't distinguish between red and green.
Taking together the combined effect of.
Between the food and the card games, this proved to be the best birthday party I have ever had.
A kind of needle, shorter than a sharp, with a small rounded eye, used for making fine stitches on heavy fabrics.
In the space which separates; betwixt; as, New York is between Boston and Philadelphia.
Used in expressing motion from one body or place to another; from one to another of two.
If things should go so between them.
Belonging in common to two; shared by both.
Castor and Pollux with only one soul between them.
Belonging to, or participated in by, two, and involving reciprocal action or affecting their mutual relation; as, opposition between science and religion.
An intestine struggle, open or secret, between authority and liberty.
With relation to two, as involved in an act or attribute of which another is the agent or subject; as, to judge between or to choose between courses; to distinguish between you and me; to mediate between nations.
In intermediate relation to, in respect to time, quantity, or degree; as, between nine and ten o'clock.
I . . . hope that between public business, improving studies, and domestic pleasures, neither melancholy nor caprice will find any place for entrance.
Intermediate time or space; interval.
In the interval;
Dancing all the dances with little rest between
Two houses with a tree between
Comparing distinct entities
I'm torn between the two options.
Does "among" imply being part of a group?
Yes, it indicates inclusion in a collective.
Is "between" used for distinct choices?
Yes, it's used when distinguishing between clear, separate options.
Can "between" denote location?
Yes, when specifying position relative to two distinct points.
What's "hidden among" mean?
It suggests being concealed within a group or multitude.
Is "between" for direct relationships?
Yes, it's for connections involving distinct entities.
How does "between" work in negotiations?
It denotes reciprocal dealings involving two distinct parties.
Is "among" suitable for two items?
Typically, no. "Among" implies three or more non-distinct items.
Can "between" refer to time?
Yes, indicating a period spanning two points in time.
What does "divided among" imply?
It means distributed to each member within a group.
Can "between" refer to more than two things?
Yes, if the items are distinct or groups, "between" is applicable.
Is "between" precise in comparisons?
Yes, it compares distinct, identifiable items.
Does "among" imply vagueness?
It can suggest a less clear, more collective relationship.
Can "between" mean "shared by"?
Yes, when something is reciprocally shared by distinct parties.
What does "mingling among" mean?
It means interacting within a group.
Can "among" suggest an undefined relationship?
Yes, it implies a less distinct, more generalized connection.
Is "among" used in selections?
It's used when choosing from within a group, not distinct items.
Is "among" collective?
Yes, it pertains to being part of a larger whole or group.
Can "between" involve separate groups?
Yes, if the groups are distinct from each other.
Does "between" work with distinct entities?
Yes, it's specific to clearly separate entities or groups.
Does "among" mean "within"?
In some contexts, it can imply being "within" a group or collective.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.