What is the Difference Between Among and Amongst

You spent months writing your thesis, pouring your heart and soul into every word. Finally, the day came when you submitted it with a sense of relief and accomplishment.

However, your joy was short-lived when the editor returned your work with a single change: they had replaced every instance of “among” with “amongst.”

Welcome to the perplexing world of “among” versus “amongst” – a confusing word pair that has frustrated writers and speakers for centuries.

However, in today’s time with technological advances grammar tools are emerging that can guide us in avoiding such mistakes.

Difference Between Among and Amongst

Among and Amongst are both prepositions that convey similar meanings, such as “surrounded by”, “in the company of”, and “amid.” However, there are some differences between the two.

Among” is the older term, tracing its origins back to Old English, while “Amongst” emerged later during the Middle English period. The introduction of “amongst” was likely an attempt to formulate adverbs by adding sounds to existing words, a common practice at the time.

While the two words can be used interchangeably in some contexts, there is a notable difference in their usage. “Among” is generally more widely accepted, particularly in American English. In contrast, “Amongst” is often preferred in formal writing or within British English contexts, offering a more literary tone to the expression.

When to Use Among Vs Amongst

Among” is used more commonly when referring to an undistinguished group or collection. It suggests being a part of a larger whole. It is also preferred for idiomatic expressions like “lost among the crowd.”

Examples of Among

  1. There was a debate among the experts on that topic.
  2. He tried to find common ground among the diverse activists.

Amongst“, on the other hand, has a more formal and poetic tone. While meaning the same as among, it sounds more elegant and sophisticated. Amongst appears more often in scholarly works, poetry, or very formal writing.

Examples of Amongst

  1. The castle stood proudly amongst the rolling hills.
  2. Corruption had spread amongst the city officials.

When to Not Use Among and Amongst

While we have established rules for when to use among and amongst, it is equally important to gain a contextual understanding of when to not use them. This can only be grasped by looking at the correct and incorrect use of both the terms.

Incorrect usage would be employing amongst where among would be the natural choice. Especially in casual conversation or basic writing.

Incorrect: There was tension amongst the team members during the meeting.

Correct: There was tension among the team members during the meeting.

Whereas, using among in instances where poetic expression is needed can be deemed wrong.

Incorrect: The ancient castle stood proudly among the verdant hills.

Correct: The ancient castle stood proudly amongst the verdant hills.

Using AI as Your Writing Companion to Understand the Correct Use of Among Vs Amongst

While writing, it often happens that we end up confused about the best word choice to fit in a sentence. At such times, we need someone who can swoop in, provide their suggestion, and make it alright. For such instances, AI tools like Trinka come in to address such dilemmas.

Trinka – AI Powered Writing Assistant

Trinka is an AI-powered writing tool that not only offers basic grammar and spelling checks but also has advanced algorithms to address all such hiccups that you may face while writing.

Its features include:

  1. Advanced Grammar Checking
  2. Sentence Structure Checking
  3. Suggesting the Right Word Choice
  4. Evaluating US/UK Style of English
  5. Addressing Usage & Style

With Trinka, you can bid farewell to the “among/amongst” dilemma. This intelligent tool will flag potential inconsistencies, offering suggestions aligned with your text’s style – whether formal or casual, American or British English. By providing contextual recommendations, Trinka ensures that your writing maintains a cohesive and polished tone.

Let’s look at how effectively Trinka addresses the incorrect usage of among and amongst:

Girl in a jacket

The image above demonstrates Trinka’s ability to accurately detect the incorrect usage of ‘amongst’ and ‘amidst’. The AI-powered writing tool has provided appropriate suggestions to rectify contextual inconsistencies in the passage. By highlighting such errors and offering the right word choice, Trinka ensures that the writing maintains a consistent and polished tone throughout.

Concluding Thoughts

Mastering the appropriate use of “among” and “amongst” is crucial for effective writing. While they can often be used interchangeably, understanding their subtle differences is key for maintaining consistency and tone.

“Among” is widely accepted in modern usage, particularly in informal conversations or American English due to its simplicity. Conversely, “amongst” carries a more formal and literary quality, favored in contexts where elegance is desired, such as in scholarly works or British English writing.

The choice between them depends on the desired tone, context, and audience. A skilled writer knows when to deploy each for maximum impact and clarity.

Embracing AI-driven writing assistance allows you to elevate your work while resolving grammar issues. Such tools enhance the quality of your writing and save time, enabling you to focus on ideation and content delivery without unnecessary worries.

With Trinka, you can concentrate on the essence of your content. Whether crafting academic papers, professional documents, or creative pieces, Trinka ensures your words resonate with precision and impact.

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