Among vs Between | Examples, Difference & Meaning

Among and between are sometimes used as synonyms, but they don’t mean the same thing.

  • Among is a preposition meaning “in the company of” or “surrounded by.” It’s typically used before a plural noun.
  • Between is a preposition used to describe the space that separates two or more things or the time interval that separates two or more specific times. It often precedes a series of singular nouns.
Examples: Among in a sentence Examples: Between in a sentence
I found the book I was looking for among the many books on the shelf. The cat squeezed between the narrow gap in the fence.
There’s no honor among thieves. A compromise was reached between the two parties.
The secret agent moved stealthily among the crowd. Between breakfast and lunch, I like to have a light snack.

How to use among

The preposition “among” means “surrounded by,” “in the company of,” or “in a group.” The word “among” typically precedes a plural noun. These are sometimes separated by an adjective or article.

Examples: Among in a sentence
Olivia felt right at home among other singer-songwriters.

Chlamydia is very common among koalas.

The gossip spread quickly among the pupils.

Among other things

The expression “among other things” means “in addition to other things that have been mentioned.” It’s always preceded and followed by a comma.

Examples: Among other things in a sentence
Daisy went to Brazil where, among other things, she volunteered as a teacher.

How to use between

The preposition “between” is used to describe the space that separates two or more people or things. It can also be used to describe a time interval between two separate dates or times. It’s often used with the conjunction “and.”

“Between” can also be used to refer to a connection or conflict or to compare two (or more) things.

Examples: Between in a sentence
The dog sits between the bush and the pool.

I am on holiday between October and December.

Between me and you, I’m not sure about accepting this job offer.

There is a strong connection between smoking and developing serious diseases.

Using between for two things and among for more

It’s a common misconception that “between” should only be used to refer to two people or things and “among” should be used to refer to three or more people or things.

Between can be used for more than two things as long as they are distinct (e.g., “I have to choose between a chocolate bar, a cookie, and a muffin”). It does, however, place more emphasis on the individual relationships, which is why it’s often used for two things.

You should use among instead of between when there is no focus on individual members of a group (e.g., “among the elderly” instead of “between the elderly”).

Frequently asked questions about among vs between

What are synonyms for among?

Among has a few (near) synonyms, such as:

  • In the company of
  • Surrounded by
  • In the middle of
  • Amid

You can find other synonyms for “among” with our paraphraser tool.

What are synonyms for between?

Between has a few (near) synonyms, such as:

  • In the time separating
  • Betwixt
  • In the space separating
  • In the middle of

You can find other synonyms for “between” with our paraphraser tool.

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Julia Merkus, MA

Julia has a bachelor in Dutch language and culture and two masters in Linguistics and Language and speech pathology. After a few years as an editor, researcher, and teacher, she now writes articles about her specialist topics: grammar, linguistics, methodology, and statistics.