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Is There a Difference Between “Among” and “Amongst”?

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In American and British English, “among” is the more popular variation of this word. Continue reading to learn more about “among” and “amongst.”

Difference between among and amongst, among vs amongst
Is there a difference between these three words? Read on to find out.
  • Among and amongst mean “surrounded by/in the middle of somebody/something,” “in company or association with,” or “occurring in or practiced by.”
    • They couldn’t believe they were among some of the most popular musicians in the world.
  • Both among and amongst can also be used when “indicating a division or choice among three parties or more.”
    • We learned to divide the goodies we baked evenly among the neighborhood kids.
  • Among is the favored variation in American and British English.

“Among” vs. “Amongst”: Origin

At first glance, it may seem like amongst is the older form of these two words, but among actually appeared first in the English language. Among dates back to Old English, while amongst emerged in Middle English.

Both these words are prepositions, meaning they connect nouns and pronouns to other information in a sentence.

Among and amongst can be defined as follows:

1. “Surrounded by” or “in the middle of somebody/something”

I found the kitten among the bushes.
I found the kitten amongst the bushes.

2. “In company or association with”

We were included among the best chefs in the state.
We were included amongst the best chefs in the state.

3. “Occurring in or practiced by”

It was a popular practice among the monks.
It was a popular practice amongst the monks.

Both among and amongst can be used when dividing objects between three or more participants.

Carly, Tristan, and Michael split the bill among themselves.
Carly, Tristan, and Michael split the bill amongst themselves.

Should You Use “Among” or “Amongst”?

Now that you know what these words mean, the question remains: Is there one you should use over the other? Among is more popular in both American English and British English. However, while amongst is considered acceptable in British English, it can be considered old-fashioned or even pretentious in American English. Your best bet is to use among.

Among or Amongst
“Among” is the more popular variation of this word.

LanguageTool: A Gem Among Stones

We understand. Knowing which word is acceptable in one dialect and pretentious in the other can be a lot to follow. Fortunately, LanguageTool supports more than 20 languages and their regional differences. So, if you’ve set American English as your primary language, this multilingual text editor will remember the rules for you and remind you to use among instead of amongst. It’ll also detect all types of errors and correct them so that your writing is flawless. Try it out today.

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