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For instance, let’s say that I want to establish an association among 3 objects. In this case, let the objects be “Roses”, “Violets”, and ”Tulips”.

Then, if I want to say, for example, that in my garden there was an anthill among those three categories of flowers, how should I write it?

• There was an anthill among my roses, violets, and tulips.

or

• There was an anthill between my roses, violets, and tulips.

Another example could be:

• Here, I will explain the difference between roses, violets, and tulips.

or

• Here, I will explain the difference among roses, violets, and tulips.

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    Possible duplicate of Between or Among – Cardinal Jun 5 at 15:36
  • I just flagged this, because that makes it easier for other people searching similar topics on the internet. The context of your question may be a bit different, but it's related to the difference between the two words. So, I thought that would be a good idea to connect similar posts and that might help someone in the future. – Cardinal Jun 5 at 15:39
  • It woud be a bit quirky to use between with three referents, because etymologically (and still, semantically) between expresses a location relative to two positions (compare twin, twain). So There was an anthill between my violets and tulips is perfectly natural. It would normally be understood to mean the anthill is on some imaginary line running from one place (where the violets are) to somewhere else (where the tulips are). But if you have three areas, it's not exactly clear how anything can be "between" them... – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 5 at 15:43
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    I have absolutely no problem with "Switzerland is between Germany, France, Italy, and Austria". The two-ness of the etymology is irrelevant. – Colin Fine Jun 5 at 16:52
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    @Minty I have no problem with an anthill between my roses, violets, and tulips. This is not different in any way than the earlier Switzerland example. If you see it as being different, then you are constructing some kind of different geography in your head for it that makes it different. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jun 6 at 11:41
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I would say that either

There was an anthill among my roses, violets, and tulips.

or

There was an anthill between my roses, violets, and tulips.

could be acceptable. If there were three separate groups of flowers, say in a triangular arrangement, and the anthill is in the middle, I would use "between". If they were all mixed, I would use "among". I note that in heraldry, to express the concept that one object is within a goup of other objects, the only correct verb is "between" A bend between five bezants. (A diagonal line with three coins above it and two below.)

I would say

Here, I will explain the differences between roses, violets, and tulips.

I might also use a version with "among" but I would be less inclined to do so.

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