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I have read both two uses:

  1. The combinations of a, b and c, taken two at a time, are ab, bc, ac.

  2. We can not help but noticing a harmonious combination between classic and contemporary.

Are both uses interchangeable? Perhaps substitute combinations among for combinations of in the first sentence? Any idea is appreciated.

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

When two or more things are combined, it is a combination of them. You cannot have a combination 'between' or 'among.' 'Of' is the correct preposition to use.

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Thank you Tony. Do you mean that only combination of is right. So the expressions of combination between and combination among are incorrect. –  macio.Jun Aug 3 '12 at 10:32
    
@macio.Jun Yes, that is my position. 'Between' and 'among' are incorrect and I don't believe there are any circumstances where a preposition other than 'of' is possible or acceptable. –  Tony Balmforth Aug 3 '12 at 10:38
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What Tony said. Here's the ngram enter image description here

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