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'Among' or 'Amongst'?

By
Mignon Fogarty,
May 11, 2016

among or amongst

People sometimes ask about the difference between among and amongst. Both words mean the same thing, but among is the older form and is now more commonly used in the United States, whereas amongst is more commonly used in Britain.

Amongst is considered archaic and overly formal or even pretentious in American English. The only time I can think of when it would be appropriate for an American writer to use it would be in fiction set in a different era or world. Something like this:

Is it truly safe to walk amongst the peasants, my lord?

Dear listeners, I hope this trifling is amongst your favorites for the week.

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Source: Garner, B. Garner's Modern American Usage, 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 42.

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock.

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