Among vs. Amongst: What’s The Difference Between Among And Amongst?

What’s the difference between "among" and "amongst"? Both words have the same meaning, but "amongst" is considered more formal. In this article, we will compare the two words and explain when you should use each one.
Among vs. Amongst: 4 Key Differences, Pros & Cons, Similarities

Among vs. Amongst are used as prepositions in a sentence and have the same meanings. That’s why people often confuse these two words and use them interchangeably. But these words are different from each other in many ways. The main difference between among and amongst is that among is the older version of Amongst, as it was discovered 200 years before amongst. So, among is a root in old English, while amongst is a root in Middle English.

LanguageBoth words belong to the English language
MeaningBoth words have the same meaning, ” in middle of.”
VersionAmong is the older version of amongst
RootedAmong roots back to old English, while amongst middle

What is Among?

What is Among?
If we look at the among meaning: it is a word that refers to "in-between "or "in the middle of". Among is used to talk about people or things that have similarities. This word also indicates that something belongs to a group. For example, in the sentence, "there is not much unity among the members of this committee",   the word among is used to describe the similar nature of the group members of a committee. Among is an older version of the English words, but it is more common in casual and modern conversation.

If we look at the among meaning: it is a word that refers to “in-between “or “in the middle of”. Among is used to talk about people or things that have similarities. This word also indicates that something belongs to a group. For example, in the sentence, “there is not much unity among the members of this committee”,   the word among is used to describe the similar nature of the group members of a committee. Among is an older version of the English words, but it is more common in casual and modern conversation.

👉  Cheif vs. Chief: What’s The Difference Between Cheif And Chief, And Which Is Correct?

What is Amongst?

What is Amongst?
If we look at the amongst meaning: it is similar to among: as this word also refers to "in-between "or "in the middle of". Most people like to use among rather than amongst as it sounds old-fashioned, but amongst was discovered after among and is also commonly used in British English. This word is not very common in American English. Some sounds were added to the word during the Middle English Period to identify the adverbs. Among was also one of those words which became an adverb.

If we look at the amongst meaning: it is similar to among: as this word also refers to “in-between “or “in the middle of”. Most people like to use among rather than amongst as it sounds old-fashioned, but amongst was discovered after among and is also commonly used in British English. This word is not very common in American English. Some sounds were added to the word during the Middle English Period to identify the adverbs. Among was also one of those words which became an adverb.                                    

👉  Inter vs. Intra: What is the difference between Inter and Intra?

5 Key Differences Between Among Vs. Amongst

ComponentsAmongAmongst
DefinitionAmong them is a word that refers to “in-between “or “in the middle of”.   It is used to talk about people or things that have similarities.It has a similar meaning to among as this word also refers to “in-between “or “in the middle of. But it was discovered after and also commonly used in British English.
DiscoveryIts discovery took place 200 years before the discovery of, Circa 1000 CE. Its roots are back to Old English. Its discovery took place after the discovery of Among. In Circa 1200 CE, amongst others, was discovered. Its roots back to Middle English
Usage in SentencesIt is more common in American English than British English. In British English, many people prefer to use among even though the use of amongst is acceptable, thus making it more common in all accents of English. Since using Amongst is considered pretentious in English, you may want to keep clear from using this word.In American English, it’s used rarely as compared to Among. It is mostly used in the writing of old-fashioned books and novels. It was commonly used when adding words with “-s” to form adverbs. Even now, British newspapers and publication guide on using among instead of amongst 
No. of UsesAccording to Oxford English, there are around 300,000 uses of Among in writing in American English.According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are only 10,000 uses of amongst in writing in American English.
ExamplesEveryone thought that John was the impostor, but he was not.Adam is very popular among the students in his class.He loves his parents so much that he sleeps amongst his parents.He was raised and grew up in a well-mannered family. 

Among vs. Amongst Similarities

  • Whether it is among or amongst, both words have the same meaning, as both refer to “surrounded by, in the middle of”.
  • Both words belong to the English language and are used as a preposition within a sentence, which makes them able to be used interchangeably in a sentence.
👉  Subjective vs. Objective: Difference, Definition, Pros and Cons

Among vs. Among Examples

Among Examples

  • You should be embarrassed among your relatives.
  • There are some obvious similarities between these groups which you can tell easily by looking at them.
  • These days, depression has become a common disease among teenagers and the young generation.

Amongst Examples

  • Due to heavy rainfall, he was sitting on the bench amongst the floodwater from the flood.
  • He played amongst a strong team during the final match of his high school basketball tournament.
  • Adam was raised and grown amongst a well-mannered family.

Among vs. Amongst Pros & Cons

Among Pros and Cons

Among Pros and Cons

Pros of Among

  • Among is the word used in modern English, which means it can be formally used worldwide.
  • Most people like using among instead of amongst in their sentences, which can be used alternatively.

Cons of Among

  • Among can be easily misunderstood because both have the same meaning, which can cause much confusion for Beginner English speakers.
  • Among is not common within British English, so it can not be used in front of old-aged British people.

Amongst Pros and Cons

Amongst Pros and Cons

Pros of Amongst

  • Amongst is the right choice of preposition while writing old books and novels, as it was commonly used in old ages.
  • Since among is an alternative to amongst, amongst can also be used instead of among in a sentence.

Cons of Amongst

  • For some people, the word amongst may sound old-fashioned and outdated because of its usage in old ages.
  • This word is not the right choice for American English because it is used less in American English, even in old age.

Comparison Chart

What’s the difference between "among" and "amongst"? Both words have the same meaning, but "amongst" is considered more formal. In this article, we will compare the two words and explain when you should use each one.

Comparison Video

Among vs. Amongst

Conclusion

Both among and amongst are commonly used prepositions in the English language. Both of these words have a similar meaning and are often used alternatively. But if we look at among vs. Amongst differences, both have different histories and no. of uses within a language. As among is a word that refers to “in-between “or “in the middle of”. It is used to talk about people or things that have similarities. Amongst has a similar meaning to among also com: as this word also refers to “in-between “or “in the middle of. But it was discovered after and mainly used in British English. Moreover, let’s talk about among versus amongst usage in a sentence. Both are used as prepositions in a sentence and can also be used interchangeably because of their same meaning.

Alex Stantor
Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Difference 101
      Logo