Among vs. Amongst: Difference between Them and How to correctly use them

The English language tends to be confusing most of the time. Various pairs of words have the same pronunciation but differ in meaning. Others differ in spelling but share similar meanings. One of those pairs of words is Among and Amongst. The two words have the same meaning but have different spellings and are used in different situations. Among or Amongst is defined as “being surrounded by someone or something or in the middle of someone or something.” The two words are prepositions followed by a noun to indicate that someone or something is “being included in or happening in groups of things or people.” Articles are circulating online about Among vs. Amongst as a result. However, they have certain differences. 

Listed below are the differences between “Among” and “Amongst.”

  • “Among” was first used in Old English, dating back to 1000 AD.
  • “Among” is mostly preferred to be used by Americans.
  • “Amongst” was first used in Middle English, dating back to 1200 AD.
  • “Amongst” is used by people outside America, such as the British. 

“Among” and “Amongst” have similar definitions and are both prepositions. However, they differ in terms of when they are supposed to be used. For example, “The dogs play among/amongst the cats.” It means that the dogs are surrounded by the cats and playing simultaneously. Another example is, “Desserts are among/amongst my favorite foods.” The two example sentences mean the same thing, whether “among” or “amongst” is used. 

How to decide to use “Among” or “Amongst? “Among” must be used when the writer is writing for an American company or their readers are American. On the other hand, “Amongst” is used when working for companies outside America, such as the United Kingdom. Moreover, “ Amongst” is used when the readers are British. Additionally, a content writer must know why it is important to know the difference between “among” and “amongst” for content and marketing. Knowing the difference between those words is essential, as improper usage leads to a confusing article or content. Readers are likely to get confused when the wrong word is used. The content writer has difficulty communicating effectively with their readers.  

What does “Among” Mean?

“Among” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “surrounded by someone or something or in the middle of someone or something.” The word means “being included or happening in groups of things or people” as well. It is used when dividing or choosing something, and three or more people or things are involved. “Among” was derived from Middle English among, amang, amonge, amange, from Old English amang, onġemang, equivalent to a- +‎ mong (“crowd; group; throng”). It was first started being used before the 12th century. “Among” is more commonly used in both American and British English.

What are the sentence examples with “Among”?

Listed below are the sentence examples with “Among.”

  • “The disease spread quickly among the citizens of the country.” “Among” indicates that the disease has spread to all the people of the country. 
  • “The girl enjoys spending time at home among her family.” The sentence indicates the woman loves spending her time surrounded by her family. 
  • “Brothers are always quarreling among themselves.” The sentence means that the brother implies that they are fighting with each other. 
  • “He is among the top-performing students in the class.” “Among” indicates that the subject, He, belongs to the group of best students. 

When to use the word “Among” in a sentence?

“Among” is a preposition to indicate a sense of being a part, surrounded, or included in something. A plural noun word or phrase follows it. “Among” indicates that someone is not distinct but is part of a group or is viewed as a group. For example, “The cat hid among the trees.” The sentence indicates that the cat is not visible as many trees surround it. Another example is, “The student was among those who arrived late in class.” The sentence states that the student belongs to a group of people that were late for class. Moreover, “Among” is used when dividing something within a group of people. For example, “The inheritance was given among the three children of the deceased father.” The sentence indicates that the deceased father left some inheritance for the three children, who were equally divided. “Among” is only used as a preposition of place to indicate something or someone is close to another thing. It answers the question, “where.” Where is the cat hidden? Among the trees. Where does the student belong? Among the other students that were late. Where is the inheritance given? Among the three children. Nonetheless, the most important thing to remember is that “Among” must be used when talking or writing for an American, mainly because “Among” is widely used in America. There is a tendency that they are not going to understand, or it confuses if “Amongst” is used.  

How often is the word “Among” used in a sentence?

“Among” is allowed to be used more than once in a sentence as long as it does not follow each other. For example, ‘My favorite book is among among the featured books.” The sentence is grammatically incorrect because among was used twice in a row, which does not make sense. However, the sentence is likely grammatically correct in a sentence where “Among” is not used twice in a row. For example, “The girl was among the top-achievers in the class, while the boy is among the lousy students.” The sentence still makes sense despite using among twice in the sentence. The reason is that among refers to two different subjects, boy and girl.   

What are the synonyms of “Among”?

There are two known synonyms for “Among,” amid, and between. “Amid” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “in the middle of or during something” or “surrounded by something.” “Amid” is only a preposition as well and does not function other than being a preposition just like “Among.” For example, “The speaker collapsed amid (among) her speech because of nervousness.” The sentence means the speaker collapsed in the middle or during her speech because of being nervous. On the other hand, ‘Between” is another proposition defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “in or into the space separating two or more points, objects, or people” or “in the period of time that separates two days, years, or events.” The preposition, just like “among” and “amid” is followed by a noun. For example, “The children sat between their parents.” The sentence indicates that the children are sitting in the middle of their parents.” However, “Between” is not followed by a noun when it is used as an adverb. For example, “I have to work from 8 AM to 5 PM, but there is a break in between. “ The sentence means a break is in the middle of the work hours. However, when “between” is used as an adverb, “among” is not allowed to replace it. “I have to work from 8 AM to 5 PM, but there is a break in among” does not make sense as it is an incomplete sentence. “Among” must always be followed by a noun.

What does “Amongst” Mean?

“Amongst” has the same meaning as “Among.” It means “surrounded by,” “in the company of,” or “being a member or members of.” “Amongst” is preferred in British English, yet their literature, such as journals or magazines, uses “Among” instead of “Amongst.” Nonetheless, “Amongst” is often believed to be obsolete or pompous. Various people avoid using it as a result of it. It was first used in Middle English, dating back to 1200 AD.

What are the sentence examples with “Amongst”?

Listed below are the sentence examples with “Amongst.”

  • The teacher instructs the students amongst their respective groups. “Amongst” is used in the sentence to indicate that the teacher instructed the students to talk to their group mates. 
  • The children played amongst the flowers. The sentence indicates flowers surrounding the children. 
  • I found a familiar face amongst the crowd. The sentence means that the subject, “I,” found someone familiar within the people in the crowd. 
  • She found her pencil amongst the papers. The sentence states that the pencil is surrounded by many papers. 

When to use the word “Amongst” in a sentence?

“Amongst” is a preposition to indicate a sense of being a part, surrounded, or included in something. A plural noun word or phrase follows it. “Amongst” indicates that someone is not distinct but is part of a group or is viewed as a group. For example, “The children hid amongst the adults.” The sentence indicates that adults surround the children. Another example is, “The boy was amongst the ones that are not going to graduate.” The sentence states that the boy is included among the students that are not going to graduate. Moreover, “Amongst,” like “Among,” is used when dividing something within a group of people. For example, “The food was given amongst the hungry.” The sentence indicates that the food was divided to feed the groups of the hungry. “Amongst” is only used as a preposition of place to indicate something or someone is close to another thing. It answers the question, “where.” Where are the children hidden? Amongst the adults. Where does the student belong to? Amongst those that are going to finish school. Where is the food given? Amongst the hungry. On that note, the most important thing to remember is that “Amongst” must be used when talking or writing for a British, mainly because “Amongst”‘ is widely used in Great Britain. There is a tendency that they are not going to understand, or it confuses if “Amongst” is used. British are likely to understand it more if “Amongst” was used, although it is acceptable and is used by some.  

How often is the word “Amongst” used in a sentence?

“Amongst” is allowed to be used more than once in a sentence as long as it does not follow each other. For example, “Chicken is amongst amongst my favorite foods.” The sentence is grammatically incorrect because amongst was used twice in a row and did not make sense. Yet, the sentence is correct if “Amongst” is not used twice in a row. For instance, “My cousin was amongst the naughtiest children, while I was amongst the behaved ones.” The sentence still makes sense despite using amongst twice in the sentence. The reason is that amongst pertains to two different subjects, cousin and I.   

What are the synonyms of “Amongst”?

“Amongst” and “Amongst” have the same synonyms since they share the same definition. The only difference is the spelling of one of their synonyms, “amid.” “Amid,” as a synonym of “Amongst,” turns into “Amidst.” “Amidst” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “in the middle of or during something” or “surrounded by something.” It is only a preposition and does not function other than being a preposition. For example, ‘In amidst (amongst) the pandemic, we are all still trying to study and work.” The sentence indicates that people still try to study and work in the middle of or during the pandemic. The other synonym is “between.” The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “in or into the space separating two or more points, objects, or people” or “in the period of time that separates two days, years, or events.” “Between” is used either as a preposition or an adverb. Another sentence wherein “Between” is a preposition is, “She was stuck between (amongst) her boyfriend and her family. The sentence means that for whatever reason, the subject, She, was in the middle of her boyfriend and her family. “Between,” as an adverb, is not allowed to be replaced by “amongst” since the sentence is going to be incomplete. 

How is the pronunciation of “Among” and “Amongst”?

One must know that some words mean the same thing but are pronounced and spelled differently based on the country in learning the English language. The most important thing to do is to be familiarized with the language’s phonetics. It is an excellent way to start obtaining the language’s most common sounds when learning English. “Among” and “Amongst” is one of the best examples of terms that share a similar definition but are pronounced and spelled differently. “Among” is pronounced as “uh-muhng,” while “Amongst” is pronounced as “uh-muhngst.”

Comparison between “Among” and “Amongst”

WordDefinitionContextFormsExample Sentences
Amongsurrounded by someone or something
in the middle of someone or something
being included or happening in groups of things or people
Followed by a noun

Used for three more people
Use to divide or separate people into groups
Preposition“The teacher was among the memorable ones.”

“She was among the suspects.”
Amongstsurrounded by someone or something
in the middle of someone or something
being included or happening in groups of things or people
Followed by a noun

Used for three more people
Use to divide or separate people into groups
Preposition“Volleyball was amongst the sports that I loved playing.”

“I was amongst the ones who finished the race.”

Why are “Among” and “Amongst” misused and interchangeably in English?

“Among” and “Amongst” are used interchangeably in English mainly because they have similar meanings. However, the two words must be used based on the writer’s company, the intended readers, and who the speaker is talking to. “Among” and “Amongst” are interchangeable because they are used depending on the company’s nationality and readers. They have the same meaning, and the sentence is going to mean the same thing even if “among” is used rather than “amongst” and visa-versa. The usage solely depends on whether the company and its readers are Americans or British.  

Are “Among” and “Amongst” the most commonly misused English words?

Yes, “Among” and “Amongst” are one of the most generally misused words. The two terms are included in the 30 misused English words by Grammarly. The two spellings are accurate, according to Grammarly. Nevertheless, “Among” is typically American English, whereas “Amongst” is British English.

What are the other similar Misused Word Pairs like “Amongst” and “Among” in English?

Listed below are the other similar misused pairs like “Amongst” and “Among.”

  • “While vs. Whilst”: The words “While” and “Whilst” are among the most misused English words just like “among” and “amongst.” The pronunciation of “while” and “whilst” is slightly different from each other. Furthermore, “while” and “whilst” have different spellings but deliver the same common meanings. The term “while” is used as a noun, verb, conjunction, or preposition in a sentence. Meanwhile, “whilst” is used only as a conjunction or preposition. 
  • Colour vs. Color”:  “Color” and “Colour” are often confused in sentences of writing. “Colour” and “color” have the same meaning and pronunciation, and are only distinguishable through their spelling. The spelling of British version has an additional letter “u,” while the American version omitted it for a simpler word structure. The words “colour” and “color” describe the appearance of an object when light is reflected off of it.
  • Ax vs. Axe”: The words “Axe” and “Ax” are one of the most interchanged English words which are similar to the case of “among” and “amongst.”. “Ax” and “axe” have the same meaning and pronunciation because they are homonyms. However, “ax” and “axe” have different spellings. The spelling of the British version has an additional letter “e”. The terms refer to cutting tools with a large, sharply pointed head attached to a long handle at a right angle to the latter.
  • “Learnt vs. Learned”: The words “learnt” and “learned” are similar misused word pairs like “among” and “amongst.” “Learnt” and “learned” have the same meaning but different pronunciations and spellings. The British word “learnt” ends with the letter “t,” whereas the American word “learned” is constructed with the suffix “ed.” The meaning of “learnt” and “learned” is to obtain or get knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.

What should a content writer consider in using the words “Among” and “Amongst”?

The content writer must consider the company they are working for when using the words “Among” and “Amongst.” A content writer working for an American company must use “Among,” while a writer working for a British company must use “Amongst.” Additionally, the content writer must consider what noun follows the two words. “Among” and “Amongst” are always followed by a plural noun, mainly because they indicate something or someone belonging to a bigger group or number of people or things.  

Can content writers use “Among” and “Amongst” in one sentence?

No, content writers are not allowed to use “Among” and “Amongst” in one sentence. They only use it when the two words are being compared. “Among” and “Amongst” have the same meaning. They are interchangeable, and their usage is based on the company the writers are working for and the readers that are going to read the content. 

How do Content Writers use “Among” and “Amongst” in their articles?

“Among” and “Amongst” share the same meaning. Content writers use “Among” and “Amongst” as a preposition in their sentences. They used the two terms to indicate that something or someone belongs to something else. However, “Among” and “Amongst” have proper content writing usage. “Among” must be used when the writer is working for an American company or the intended readers are Americans. However, the writer must use “Amongst” when the company and the intended readers are British. 

Do Content Writers use “Among” and “Amongst” in the wrong way?

No, content writers do not use “Among” and “Amongst” incorrectly. An excellent content writer must be aware of the correct usage of the words before submitting and publishing their work. Words such as “Among” and “Amongst” must be used in accordance with their proper usage. They have the proper usage to avoid confusing readers, although the two words have the same meaning. 

Do Misused Words such as “Amongst” and “Among” affect SEO and UX?

Yes, misused words such as “Among and “Amongst” affect Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and User Experience (UX). Grammatical errors like incorrect spelling and usage of words in writing change what authors want to convey unintentionally. It delivers a different meaning when a word is misused in a sentence. Additionally, a word with the wrong spelling signifies unprofessionalism. Incorrect grammar disturbs the flow of one’s writing as it affects the user experience of a reader and causes misinformation. It gives the impression that the author is not knowledgeable, skillful, or credible enough to write high-quality content. Quality content matters in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content writing. Most websites that rank top contain quality written articles. Poorly written articles with misspelled and misused words are going to hurt a website. On average, 59% of consumers do not buy from an online shopping site with bad spelling and poor grammar, according to surveys conducted by some agencies.

Are both “Among” and “Amongst” considered Adjectives?

No, “Among” and “Amongst” are not considered Adjectives. “Among” and “Amongst” are prepositions. They function as a preposition and a preposition plural noun phrases or words commonly follow only that. The adverb function of “between” is not allowed to be replaced by “among” and “amongst.” The reason is that it is going to be an incomplete sentence that does not make any sense. 

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