English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Today I heard someone on television say this:

In the battle between x versus y, x won.

Is this correct? In my opinion, this would sound better/be more correct:

In the battle between x and y, x won.

What should have been said?

share|improve this question
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Technically speaking, the phrase should have been either

The battle of X versus Y


The battle between X and Y

I think it's more common to say "The battle of (placename)" or "the battle between x and y" instead of "the battle of x versus y", but I'll have to let someone else try to NGram that up.

However, I'm guessing that you were watching a show called "Man versus Food", and the host of the show isn't about to miss a chance to slip the name of the show in even if it makes the sentence sound a little funny.

share|improve this answer
That was the show. I suppose you're right. – user11550 Oct 19 '11 at 12:23

Here's some Ngrams that show "battle between X and Y" is much more common than both "battle of X versus Y" and "battle between X versus Y", which you can't even see above the zero baseline:

England France Athens Alexander

share|improve this answer
There's some awfully strange clustering in those graphs... – Karl Knechtel Oct 19 '11 at 12:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.