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Between, Among, and Amid: Commonly Confused Words

October 16, 2017

These words don’t look or sound the same. But the confusion of between, among, and amid comes from the types of relationships the words indicate. (And this isn’t even including amongst in the mix). Often people use these words interchangeably, but many style guides call for distinction. So it’s important that you use the words correctly.

Their Meanings

Between: refers to one-to-one relationships

Among: refers to collective relationships

Amid: used with mass nouns

Their Usage And Some Examples

Between:

Between you and me, I think the movie was actually better than the book for once.

There is a clear relationship including the speaker and one other person.

Among:

There was unease among the crowd.

There is a collective relationship. The sentence doesn’t indicate discrete relationships.

Amid:

He struggled to stay calm amid the confusion.

“Confusion” is a mass noun. Also, “amid” can be substituted with “in the middle of.” If you can clearly include that short phrase, “amid” is the word you want.

Their Pasts

Between, among, and amid were often used interchangeably. Their meanings haven’t really changed. Today, though, distinctions should be made. Just keep in mind what sort of groups or relationships you’re describing and you’ll be all set!

Check out another set of commonly confused words to continue improving your vocabulary.

By WritersDomain

WritersDomain is a team of in-house writers, editors, and support staff.

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1 comment

  • Usage and Clearing Up Commonly Confused Words

    November 7, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    […] your usage training and check out the posts in our Commonly Confused Words […]

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