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When do we use 'Among' and when 'Amongst'?
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Hello!

Look here:
http://www.antimoon.com/forum/2004/4514.htm

and further I heard that amongst is more book variant.
I don't think they 're different.
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Hello, Darkmaster,

There's been a previous post about this, and I think the result is they're the same, although maybe "amongst" may be a bit less frequent in everyday talk
The word 'among' came from Old English phrase 'on gemang'. This 'gemang 'was a noun form of 'gemongen' (mingle, gather, crowd, assemble). 'On gemange' was used in the full form before 1000, but it was gradually degraded into 'among' during Late Old English period (1000-1300). In those days 'among' was often used in a genitive form 'amongs' and from about 1400 on some South Englanders began to speak this 'amongs' as 'amongst' erratically, probably under the influence of adjectives' superlative declension '-st', though people in Midlanders and Northlanders continued to speak it as 'among'. So it would not be far from the truth to say that 'amongst' is a dialectal word of South England. Actually 'amongst' is rarely used in American English.

'Among' and 'amongst' are used even now in parallel without differentiating their sense and syntactic function. It is interesting to compare this with the development of pairing words 'again' and 'against'. The word 'against' was also coined in South England as an erratic form of the genitive 'agains', but as to the pair of 'again' and 'against', they developed into two words distinctively different in their meaning as well as in their syntactic roles.

paco
Thanks all, very interesting posts.
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I would agree with the preceding posts.

But as with 'while/whilst', the longer form is sometimes useful when you want a weightier word, for reasons of rhythm, or when 'among' precedes a weak vowel.

MrP
I just read your message. I wonder if the word "amon" in walloon comes from "among".

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"Amongst" is old fashioned, archaic, and pretentious. In the interest of simplification, let's just use "among," for heaven's sake! I think students are just using "amongst" to try to "fancy up" their prose.
martha
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