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Hi I have been wondering for years what was the correct way to use "between" with more than two things to compare.

I am currently working on my thesis so I think I should finally ask what the rule is. So far this is what I have:

"I am using the results to develop mathematical relationships between characteristics and efficiencies and capacity."

What I would like to express is that I am using the results to develop mathematical relationships between characteristics and efficiencies, as well as between characteristics and capacity.

Can I do that without repeating "between characteristics" ?

Thank you

marked as duplicate by Esoteric Screen Name, Glorfindel, Em., Varun Nair, Hellion Nov 15 '16 at 15:32

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    You can say this in a way that avoids the problem and is much clearer, to boot. If these characteristics can be altered, and if the alterations produce effects, you could say that you are discussing how changes to those properties affect efficiency and capacity. You are studying the effects of changes to those characteristics upon efficiency and capacity – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 14 '16 at 14:28
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Your use of the bare word "characteristics" makes this sentence very difficult. Especially in technical writing, you want to be as unambiguous as possible

type of characteristics of something

might be better

You could use an enumerated list

I am using the results to develop mathematical relationships between the primary characteristics of the major intervals and 1) efficiency; or 2) capacity.

This would be general enough to handle any number of relationships

...relationships between something characteristics and 1) efficiancy; 2) capacity; 3) cost; or 4) time to implement.

Using "or" will also help make your list items be more distinct.

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If the three: characteristics, efficiencies, and capacity are united under one subject then you should say "between the three" if not then you can repeat "between".

  • "I am using the results to develop mathematical relationships between the three: the characteristics, the efficiencies, and the capacity."

  • "I am using the results to develop mathematical relationships between the characteristics and the efficiencies, and between the characteristics and the capacity."

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