Among vs. Between | Difference, Examples & Quiz
Among and between are two prepositions that are sometimes used interchangeably, but they have different meanings.
- Among means “surrounded by” or “in the company of.” It’s normally followed by a plural noun.
- Between refers to the space that separates two or more distinct things or to the interval that separates two or more distinct times. It’s normally followed by a series of two or more singular nouns.
|Examples: Among in a sentence||Examples: Between in a sentence|
|The thief hid among the wandering tourists.||The coffee shop is between the post office and the bank.|
|Alicia is happy when she’s among friends.||Paul works between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day.|
What does among mean?
Among is a preposition meaning “in the company of” or “surrounded by.” It’s usually followed by a plural noun.
It can also be used to mean “in or through a group.”
Among other things
Among other things is an expression meaning “in addition to things that are specifically mentioned.” It’s always set off by commas.
What does between mean?
Between is a preposition used to refer to the space that separates two or more distinct people or things. It’s also used to connect numbers or to refer to the interval separating two times or dates. It’s normally used in combination with the conjunction “and.”
Between is also used to indicate a connection or conflict or to make a comparison.
Between for two things, among for more?
Some sources suggest that “between” should only be used to refer to two people or things, while “among” should be used to refer to three or more people or things. However, this is not quite right.
Between does place emphasis on individual relationships rather than groups, but it can still be used to refer to more than two people or things, as long as they are distinct (e.g., “Eva divides her time between work, friends, and family”).
Among should be used instead when stating that something or someone is part of a group, without focusing on individual members (e.g., “among the upper classes,” not “between the upper classes”).
Worksheet: Between vs. among
You can test your understanding of the difference between “between” and “among” with the worksheet below. Fill in either “between” or “among” in each sentence.
- I’ll be at the office _______ 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- There are some flowers _______ the weeds.
- There’s a door _______ the kitchen and the living room.
- You should know the difference _______ right and wrong.
- The virus spread quickly _______ people living in cities.
- I’ll be at the office between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- “Between” is a preposition that can be used to refer to the interval separating two times.
- There are some flowers among the weeds.
- “Among” is a preposition used to mean “surrounded by.” It’s typically followed by a plural noun that refers to non-distinct people or things (in this case, “weeds”).
- There’s a door between the kitchen and the living room.
- “Between” can be used to refer to the physical space separating two distinct people or things.
- You should know the difference between right and wrong.
- “Between” is also used to indicate a connection or conflict or to make a comparison.
- The virus spread quickly among people living in cities.
- “Among” can also be used to mean “in or through a group.”
Other interesting language articles
If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
US vs. UK spellings
Frequently asked questions
- What is a synonym of “among”?
Some synonyms and near synonyms of among include:
- In the company of
- In the middle of
- Surrounded by
- What is a synonym of “between”?
Some synonyms and near synonyms of between include:
- In the space separating
- In the time separating
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