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Which of the following two is correct?:

  1. The man is sitting in between the two women

or:

  1. The man is sitting in-between the two women.

What is the general rule?

Related but different questions: What is the difference between "in-between" and "between"? and Is single-word "inbetween" becoming more acceptable? How far can it go?

  • The second has a hyphen in between the two words. – Hot Licks Apr 19 at 0:21
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According to Merriam-Webster, 'in-between' is used as a noun or adjective whereas 'in between' is an adverb or preposition.

Hope this helps.

  • Never use dictionaries for grammar information. It's not what they're designed for! – Araucaria Apr 19 at 1:05
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I think the correct form would be actually:

The man is sitting between the two women.

So, neither. You are using between as a preposition here, so if you refer to the questions you gave as examples in your question, you should use just between.

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"Between the two women" denotes a space. If there is a space then you can be in that space; you can be in "between the two women". "In-between" also denotes that space whereas "between" doesn't.

In-between can work by implied reference but "between" cannot. Consider "Two women are sitting at either end of a bench for four". You wouldn't say "The man is sitting between" but you could say that he's "sitting between them" or you could say "The man is sitting in-between".

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I feel that between is the whole example including the outer layer due to show its starting and ending point

And +++++ in/- between +++++ is what is excluding the starting and ending point. Not know what the difference in the hyphen resembles.

I feel if that if its between something how would you describe the start and end of the example except for using it as a alternative metephor. It is a connotes. The tricky meangs of words in the english language.

  • I'm finding it difficult to understand what you're saying here. For example, what are the + and / signs in the second paragraph supposed to represent? Also "connotes" is a verb not a noun, so you can't say something is a connotes. – KillingTime Apr 19 at 7:53

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