TOEFL iBT Speaking and Writing Tip: Understanding “among” and “between”

One aspect affecting how you will score on the speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL exam depends on your control of your language use.  The purpose of  this post, therefore, is to help you learn how to better control your use of “among” and “between.”

Example A: The students discussed among themselves whether or not they wanted to post-pone the final exam.

Example B: The decision to postpone the exam was discussed between the students and the professor.

From the above example, you can see that  “among” and “between” are prepositions, and they are followed by the noun phrases “themselves” and “the students and the professor.”

In addition, “among” is used to refer to three or more things/people, and “between” is used to refer to two things or people.

To reinforce what you have learned,  practice finding some texts on the Internet. Then use the search and find option on your browser to find authentic sentences which use “between” and “among”.

Happy Reading!

Michael Buckhoff,

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