We use prepositions to link pronouns and nouns to other words within a sentence called objects. In the English language, among and amongst are typically the widely used prepositions. These two words often cause confusion in writing because many of us don’t know where and when to use either of the words.
We often find ourselves stranded on the difference between among and amongst. Perhaps, both words are prepositions with similar meanings. The meaning of “among” is “contained in a larger group” or “in the middle.” Additionally, it’s followed by plural noun phrases in many sentences.
“Amongst” definition is similar to that of “among.” This word is at times used alternatively with among! So, there’s no difference between the two terms as they are used interchangeably in the English language. “Among” is usually used in the US (American English), whereas “amongst” is commonly used in Britain (British English).
History and origin of among and amongst
“Amongst” usually sounds like it’s the older word, but it’s not. Surprisingly, “among” is the oldest. “Among” originated from Old English while “amongst” emerged in Middle English and sounds more archaic to Native American English speakers. The two words originally were “on and gemang” which meant “in a crowd.”
Which is correct amongst or among?
Generally, preference wins when there’s a grammar battle between similar English words! This is entirely true in this case of amongst and among. They are two different versions of the same word which means “surrounded by,” “in the middle of,” or “in the company/presence of.”
On some occasions, people tend to say that “amongst” is old-fashioned and should be rarely used. So, “among” is the preferred choice as “amongst” seems to have gone out of style.
Amongst vs. among in example sentences:
We can keep this among us.
Don’t be afraid to sit amongst the teachers.
The princes swam in the pool among other peasant girls
They sat on a couch amongst the computer wizards
Do not be worried about the boy. He is living among his friends.
George was amongst the top performers in the final exam.