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Among vs. Amongst: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 5, 2024
"Among" and "amongst" are both prepositions meaning in the midst of or surrounded by; "among" is more common in modern usage.
Among vs. Amongst

Key Differences

"Among" is used to indicate a presence in or association with a group, often seen in American and modern British English. "Amongst," while conveying the same meaning, is often considered more formal or archaic.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
"Among" is typically used in contemporary speech and writing, signaling inclusivity or distribution in a group. "Amongst" is more frequently found in older texts and in certain dialects, adding a stylistic or traditional flavor.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
In terms of grammar, "among" and "amongst" are interchangeable without altering the meaning of a sentence. However, "among" is generally preferred for its simplicity and modern appeal.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
The choice between "among" and "amongst" can also reflect the tone or register of the writing. While "among" suits everyday and straightforward communication, "amongst" might be used for poetic or formal contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
"Among" is the preferred term in academic and professional settings due to its clarity and contemporary usage. "Amongst," though equally correct, is often reserved for literary or rhetorical effect.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Usage Frequency

More common in modern English
Less common, often seen as more formal
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Contextual Preference

Preferred in American and modern British English
Often found in older texts and certain dialects
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Tone

Casual, straightforward
Formal, traditional, sometimes poetic
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Jan 05, 2024

Suitability in Writing

Preferred in academic and professional settings
Used for stylistic or traditional effect
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Grammatical Difference

None, interchangeable with 'amongst'
None, interchangeable with 'among'
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Jan 05, 2024
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Among and Amongst Definitions

Among

In the company of or surrounded by.
She felt at ease among her friends.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Amongst

In the midst of or surrounded by.
Whispered rumors circulated amongst the guests.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Among

Occurring in or characterizing a group.
There was a sense of excitement among the crowd.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Amongst

Included within a group or collection.
The antique was hidden amongst various trinkets.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Among

Included in a group or category.
Among these options, the blue one is my favorite.
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Dec 18, 2023
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Amongst

Occurring in the context of a group.
There was a feeling of unease amongst the audience.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Among

In the midst of; surrounded by
A pine tree among cedars.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

Standing out within a group.
His talent shone brightly amongst his peers.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Among

In the group, number, or class of
She is among the wealthy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

Shared by or common to a group.
The responsibility was distributed amongst the team members.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Among

In the company of; in association with
Traveling among a group of tourists.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

In the midst of; surrounded by
A pine tree among cedars.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

By many or the entire number of; with many
A custom popular among the Greeks.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

In the group, number, or class of
She is among the wealthy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

By the joint action of
Among us, we will finish the job.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

In the company of; in association with
Traveling among a group of tourists.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

With portions to each of
Distribute this among you.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

By many or the entire number of; with many
A custom popular among the Greeks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

With or against one another
Don't fight among yourselves. See Usage Note at between.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

By the joint action of
Among us, we will finish the job.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

Denotes a mingling or intermixing with distinct or separable objects. (See Usage Note at amidst.)
How can you speak with authority about their customs when you have never lived among them?
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

With portions to each of
Distribute this among you.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

Denotes a belonging of a person or a thing to a group.
He is among the few who completely understand the subject.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

With or against one another
Don't fight among yourselves. See Usage Note at between.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

Denotes a sharing of a common feature in a group.
Lactose intolerance is common among people of Asian heritage.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Amongst

Denotes a mingling or intermixing with distinct or separable objects. See usage note at amidst.
Janek feels very at ease amongst his friends, but gets incredibly nervous when meeting new people.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

Mixed or mingled; surrounded by.
They heard,And from his presence hid themselves amongThe thickest trees.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

Conjoined, or associated with, or making part of the number of; in the number or class of.
Blessed art thou among women.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

Expressing a relation of dispersion, distribution, etc.; also, a relation of reciprocal action.
What news among the merchants?
Human sacrifices were practiced among them.
Divide that gold amongst you.
Whether they quarreled among themselves, or with their neighbors.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Among

Shared by or involving members of a group.
The cost was divided among the participants.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Among

Distinguished from others in a group.
His work stood out among the submissions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 18, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is amongst considered old-fashioned?

Amongst can be seen as more formal or archaic.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Does the use of among imply equality?

Among often implies a sense of inclusivity or equality within a group.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Can I use among in formal writing?

Yes, among is appropriate for formal writing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Are among and amongst interchangeable?

Yes, they are interchangeable without changing the meaning.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Is amongst more common in British English?

Amongst is more commonly used in British English than American English.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Can amongst be used in academic writing?

While correct, amongst is less preferred in modern academic writing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Is there a difference in pronunciation between among and amongst?

The only difference is the 'st' sound at the end of amongst.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Is among more modern than amongst?

Among is considered more contemporary and widely used in modern English.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Is there a grammatical rule for choosing among or amongst?

There's no strict grammatical rule; it's more about style and preference.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Does the meaning change with the use of among or amongst?

No, the meaning remains the same.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Do certain dialects prefer amongst over among?

Certain dialects, especially in British English, may prefer amongst.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Is there a regional preference for among or amongst in English-speaking countries?

Among is generally preferred in American English, while amongst can be found more in British English.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Can I use among when referring to two items?

Among is generally used with three or more items, though it can be used with two in some contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Is amongst more poetic?

Amongst can have a more poetic or traditional tone.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Can either among or amongst start a sentence?

Yes, both can be used at the beginning of a sentence.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Is amongst acceptable in American English?

It's acceptable but less common than among.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Do among and amongst have different origins?

They have similar origins but developed different endings over time.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Can among be used in legal documents?

Yes, among is appropriate for legal documents.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Are there any contexts where among and amongst are not interchangeable?

In most contexts, they are interchangeable, but among is more universally accepted.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Has the use of amongst decreased over time?

Yes, the use of amongst has declined in favor of among in contemporary English.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

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