Fórum EMB de Discussões
[  EMB's Main Menu  |  Forum Index  |  Cadastro  |  Search  ]
   
ENGLISH
PORTUGUESE
 LINGUISTICS & CULTURE


Autor:  Tiago T.
E-mail:  não-disponível
Data:  19/DEZ/2007 10:22 PM
Assunto:  Between
 
Mensagem:  Most grammar books and teachers will repeat the following:

1) Between should be used to compare two things/people.

2) Among should be used to compare more than two things/people.


However, the classic rule above is not always correct. It is true that between is the only choice if you want to compare two elements. Nevertheless, when more than two elements are involved, the word choice depends on the idea that the speaker wants to convey:

1) Between should be used if the objects involved are clearly separated, that is, if the entities are considered distinct individuals.

2) Among is the best choice if the speaker sees the objects as a group, a crowd, a mass or a collectivity.


Some examples:

- She was standing between Alice and Mary.
[Two elements are involved.]

- She was standing among a crowd of children.
[The children are perceived as a mass, a crowd.]

- Our house is between the woods, the river and the village.
[The three elements are considered distinct entities.]

- His house is hidden among the trees.
[The trees are considered a mass.]

- Between the four of us, we raised a thousand dollars.
[Each person is a separate element.]

- There was great rivalry between the three colleges.
[There is a clear distinction between the colleges.]

- The choice between good and evil.
[Two elements are involved.]

- The bomb landed between the houses.
[The houses are seen as points that define the boundaries of the area of impact. None of the houses was hit.]

- The bomb landed among the houses
[The area of impact is considered to be the general location of the houses. The houses were probably hit as well.]

- A series of wars between the Greek cities.
[Each city was an independent participant in the war.]

- A series of wars among the Greek cities.
[The cities were somehow involved in war. However, the participants could be shifting alliances or cities.]

Notice that, sometimes, the word amongst is used instead of among. The meaning is the same, but amongst is more formal and not so common.

Sources:

http://www.drgrammar.org/faqs/#54
http://forums.lydbury.co.uk/grammar/viewtopic.php?t=4122&sid=bbc4c0ad9b4b9a8551d257836824d3df
http://www.bartleby.com/61/88/B0218800.html


Envie uma resposta
Índice de mensagens


 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
Between  –  Xavier  19/DEZ/2007, 12:10 PM
Between  –  Dale/CR  19/DEZ/2007, 12:29 PM
Between  –  Xavier  19/DEZ/2007, 12:50 PM
 Between  –  Tiago T.  19/DEZ/2007, 10:22 PM
Between/Among  –  Macquarie Eng. Dict.  20/DEZ/2007, 1:41 AM
Between/Among  –  PPAULO  20/DEZ/2007, 10:43 PM

Contents of this forum are copy-free.
By S&K