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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (February 4, 2008)

Breaking the Rules! Between or Among?

Teachers make a distinction between "among" and "between." But, does this distinction reflect the dictionary definition? In a word, no!


The Oxford English Dictionary states that, “In all senses, between has, from its earliest appearance, been extended to more than two.”

So, although the strict meaning of "-tween" refers to the number two, most speakers of English say "between" when three or more objects are under discussion.

You are free to make this distinction if you wish, but if not, you will have the company of generations of English speakers.


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