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“between” vs “among”

I know the word "between" is used when we are concerned with two things. But can it be used with more than two things?

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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Jun 4 '12 at 10:45

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3 Answers 3

Yes, sometimes you do (and must) use between for more than two things alone. In these places, you cannot swap in among, or it will sound wrong.

For example, between can be used with several points of geography:

My territory lies between Denver, Dallas, and Chicago.

and not

My territory lies *among Denver, Dallas, and Chicago.

It can also be used with people, as in:

Between your sister, your brother, and your cousin, we’ll get this sorted out.

and not

*Among your sister, your brother, and your cousin, we’ll get this sorted out.

As you see, one cannot substitute in among for between in those examples, even though three things are involved in both cases.

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Yes the word "Between" can be used for more than two things. For example , "The discussion was between three people" or us three or Jack, John and Mike .

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

According to OED, between usually involves only two limits, but when boundaries are concerned, there may be more than two limits. For e.g.,

Switzerland lies between France, Italy, Austria and Germany.

Our house is between the wood, the river and the village.

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