Amid vs. Among vs. Between

What is the difference between Amid vs. Among vs. Between?
Is "between" correct word in the preceding sentence? Or should we just replace between with among?
We shall get all the questions regarding between, among, and amid in this post.

    Let's get started with meaning of these words.

    What is the meaning of Amid?

    Amid is a preposition. Its means in the middle of or surrounded by something.
    Amid in sentence:
    1. I was standing amid many noises.
    2. The company collapsed amid allegations of fraud.

    What is the meaning of Among?

    Among is a preposition. It means surrounded by something or somebody more that two.
    Being included in groups of things or people.
    Among in sentence:
    1. We walked among the crowds in Red Square.
    2. Non one among them can play cricket.
    3. He is known among his friends as a bookworm.

    What is the meaning of Between?

    Between can be used as a preposition and adverb.
    If Space, time, or something else between two thing is to be in the middle, and one thing is on left side, another on right.
    For example:
    1. He stood between his father and his mother.
    2. The ball rolled between the desk and the wall.
    3. There is very little difference between lion and tiger.
    4. They fly between Delhi and Mumbai twice a month.
    5. Our house has two rooms with a veranda between. (As adverb)

    Now let's come to the main topic-

    What is the difference between Amid and Among?

    Amid is used when we talk about uncountable things, like I was standing amid noises: here we can't count 'noise'.
    Among is used when we talk about countable things that can be separated, and it must be more than two people or things.
                                   We can use amid also in place of among when we are not able to count somethings or people because it seems uncountable. 'The thief was waving his gun among the throng': here you can use amid also, for you are not able to count people in the throng; you can use among also because people are countable, with an extra effort you can count people in a throng.

    When to use between and when to use among?

    Between is applied to only two people and things. 
    Whereas Among is used for more than two people and things.
    Both of them are used for countable things. 
    However, in some cases between is used for more than two. Let's see in detail about the usage of between for more than two.

    What Penguin Dictionary of American English says, "Between applies to three or more things when the relation is essentially between pairs. For instance: 'Conferences are going on between Canada, Mexico, and the United States to consider future migration.' That means three separate two-party conferences are taking place. But when ' A conference is going on among Canada, Mexico, and the United States,' all three are meeting together."
    When people do something among themselves, they do it as a group without involving others.
    When people do something between themselves, they do it as a reciprocal relationship, with involving each other in a pair.
    When three or more people or things are seen as a group or mass, we use among not between.
    For example:
    "Among all the tigers white tiger seems healthy and big to me."
    Here between is not suitable.

    Memory Trick-

    How can we learn that Between is used for two?
    Between origins from Old English 'tween' that means 'two'. Twin also is derived from the same root. Between somehow sounds like  "be twin". In this way we can learn between is used for twin things.

    How can we learn that Among is used for more than two?
    If you visualize the o inside the word among, you find that o is sitting in the mid of more than two items or in a group. This way we can learn that among is used for more than two things.

    What about amongst and amidst?

    Amongst and amidst seem to be superlative form of among and amid. However, it is not.
    Amongst and amidst are the archaic form of among and amid, and no longer in use.

    But some people say that amongst is used before vowels. Are they right?

    Yes, they are right. Some English dictionaries say that before vowels amongst is the better than among; among, however, can be used before either vowels or consonant.

    Common Errors:
    Don't use between... to ... as in "Between Kashmir to Kanyakumari, there are several cities."
    Use and in place of to.
    Conjunction 'and' comes always after Between.
    For example:
    between 10 a.m and 4 p.m
    between 1300 and 2700
    Don't use each or every after between; for example 
    'Money is distributed between each party' is wrong; emend each, and write "between the parties".

    "Between You and I or Between You and Me." 

    Which one is correct?
    Between You and I is wrong. Between is a preposition; we know that a pronoun after a preposition changes into objective case- Me is the objective of I. Hence Between You and Me is correct. The same way between him and her, between them and us.
    You should distribute the money between you and I.  
    You should distribute the money between you and me.  

    What is betwixt?

    Betwist is the archaic form of between.

    What do you mean by betwixt and between?

    Betwixt and between is an idiom. It means in a middle position, for example I found myself placed betwixt and between in my parent's debate, agreeing with both of them.

    Can we use 'in the midst of ' instead of amid or among.

    In the midst is an informal and wordy. In formal writing you should avoid using it. You better use amid, among, between in a formal writing.
    Now we come to our top of the question:
    "What is the difference between Amid vs. Among vs. Between?"
    Is between correct word in the preceding sentence? Or we should just replace between with among.

    Between is suitable when you differentiate something in pair, like Amid vs. Among, Amid vs. Between, Between vs. Among.
    Among is suitable when you differentiate something as a whole, like Amid vs. Among vs. Between.
    In my opinion, always use between when the sentence "What is the difference ..." comes. Among, however, is not wrong, but to be on the safe side, always choose between.

    In a nutshell
    • Amid is used in uncountable things.
    • Among is used in more than two countable things or people.
    • Between is used in two countable things or people. Between can be used for more than two when we talk about reciprocal arrangements. Whereas among is used in collective arrangements.

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    1 comment:

    1. Love reading and learning about word usage. But, OMG, don't you proofread?


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