AP Style Among, Between

What is the Difference Between Among and Between?

AP Style uses the traditional maxim to determine which of these two words to use and when to use them.


Among introduces more than two items being discussed. For example,

  • Steve, Joe, and I were among the first three students to enroll in the class.
  • The father’s estate was divided among his four sons.


Between introduces two items being discussed. For example,

  • I had to choose between Pepsi and Coke.
  • The father’s estate was divided between his two sons.

However, between is the correct word when expressing the relationships of three or more items considered one pair at a time. For example,

  • Tomorrow there will be open debate between the administration and the Budget, Technology, and Transportation committees.

Since “among” and “between” are both prepositions, any pronouns that follow either of these words must be in the objective case. For example,

  • All four of them were among us.
  • He said it was between him and her.
  • Keep this between you and me.


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