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This is a tricky topic.
Let’s start with the easiest part:
- Between you and me, I am both taller and smarter.
- John, please keep this secret just between us; no one else needs to know that I still wet the bed.
So far, so good? Let’s now take a look at “among”:
There is one more difference between “between" and "among”:
(In case you’re wondering, among = amongst.)
It would be nice if we could end this post right here. Unfortunately, we would be remiss to not mention this one last point:
On standardized tests, especially the SAT, “between" is used for only TWO people or things; for THREE OR MORE people or things, you are expected to use “among.” No exceptions. This contradicts what we mentioned at the top of this post, but that’s how it is. Standardized tests are incredibly prescriptivist.
But that’s OK: as long as you know what they want, it makes your job easy. Right?
We get asked about “enquire" and "inquire" (and "enquiry" and "inquiry”) frequently—both here and on Twitter.
Similarly, “enquire” and “enquirer” are more common in British English, while “inquire” and “inquirer” are more common in American English.
- Although some people (including teachers) claim that “whom” is no longer relevant (i.e., no one uses it, and no one knows how to use it properly), standardized exams (including the SAT) do include questions that test whether you know the difference between the two!
- If this is still confusing to you, rephrase your sentence to avoid the entire who vs. whom problem.
- If you have further questions on this topic, tweet us @The_YUNiversity. Cheers.