1

Say, an element 'a' occurs in two sets: X={'a','b'} and Y= {'a','c'}.

So, what preposition should be used in the blank of the following sentence:

'a' is common element ___ sets X and Y.

It's 'to', 'with' or 'between' ?

1

You can use all three, but your sentence should read

'a' is a common element ___ sets X and Y.

'a' is a common element to sets X and Y.
'a' is a common element with sets X and Y.
'a' is a common element between sets X and Y.

4
  • How woild you explain the use of 'to'? Dec 9 '16 at 7:12
  • " 'a' is common to (both) sets X and Y."
    – Peter
    Dec 9 '16 at 8:18
  • I see. We can omit 'both' right? Dec 9 '16 at 8:36
  • Yes, "both" may be omitted, but personally I would say " 'a' is common to both X and Y" since it's probably already known that X and Y are sets and belonging to "both" is what is emphasized.
    – Peter
    Dec 9 '16 at 16:33
-1

You can use between in this sentence 'a' is common element ___ sets X and Y. Between is used when naming distinct, individual items so it shows clear meaning.

1
  • 1
    Please edit to include an explanation of why this is correct; answers without explanation do not teach the patterns of the language well. Dec 8 '16 at 7:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.