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Which sentence is correct?

  1. ...where successful people are giving lectures and people could exchange knowledge among themselves.
  2. ...where successful people are giving lectures and people could exchange knowledge among them.
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6  
In this sentence, them would exclude the subject (people), so you probably mean themselves. –  Cerberus Apr 23 '13 at 20:08
2  
Yes, a reflexive object must be used only when there is a coreferential subject. In He shot himself subject and object are the same, but in He shot him they're not. –  John Lawler Apr 23 '13 at 20:11
    
thanks @JohnLawler and Cerberus –  John Brunner Apr 23 '13 at 20:24
    
The sentence uses the present progressive and "could." I think it's better to use "can." –  michael_timofeev 2 days ago

4 Answers 4

I would suggest that neither ending is needed. Isn't it sufficient to say:

...where successful people are giving lectures and people could exchange knowledge.

I don't think among them/selves adds anything useful. Who else would they be exchanging knowledge with? People that weren't there?!

But if you must have an ending, what about:

...where successful people are giving lectures and people could exchange knowledge with each other.

As an aside, I think I would have said amongst themselves if using those words.

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Themselves is reflexive pronoun, and them is objective pronoun. Now, according to rules, we should use objective pronoun after preposition; here "among" is the preposition. eg- between you and me.

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1  
Hello, Rahul. 'We left the tidying-up to them' And 'They talked amongst themselves' show that a rule insisting that either type of pronoun is mandatory, is incorrect. –  Edwin Ashworth 2 days ago
    
Yes, Mr. Edwin... you are right; it is not mandatory to use either pronoun, and it seems superfluous. Even so, if a writer chooses, he or she must abide by the rules of the English grammar. reference- Grammar Girl , Longman English Grammar –  Rahul 18 hours ago
    
Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl) and Longman would not claim that either 'We left the tidying-up to them' or 'They talked amongst themselves' is ungrammatical. Please show the exact place where you have found 'according to rules, we should use objective pronoun after preposition', as you put it. Have a look at the most upvoted answer in the Usage of reflexive pronouns thread. –  Edwin Ashworth 17 hours ago

While I agree with TrevorD that the better answer is to leave off the preposition entirely, it's worth pointing out that "amoung them" is particularly incorrect. The meaning would read as follows:

... where successful people are giving lectures and [other] people could exchange knowledge among them.

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People can't share anything among themselves.

Consider:

  • I can't give anything to myself.

  • We can't give anything to ourselves.

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1  
Sorry but this is actually wrong. "We gave ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done." (Metaphorical, probably, but definitely possible) –  Andrew Leach May 12 '13 at 19:35

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