I'd like to explain a story where two students who are not on the same sport team became good friends.

Can I say

"a friendship between students who are from different sport teams"


"a friendship between students who are on different sport teams"


this phrase is said when a hero of a story shortly explains his friend the content of a play where he will take part in.

He says "Its story is about a friendship between student athletes on/from different teams."

In my story the content of the play doesn't matter.

  • 2
    Both choices look good. It's not natural to say "sports teams". It feels redundant and clunky. Consider, "a friendship between student athletes on different teams"
    – gotube
    Nov 26, 2021 at 3:27
  • @gotube Thank you so much! It's a great help.
    – Nigutumok
    Nov 26, 2021 at 8:30
  • Word choice depends on the surrounding sentences. What is the whole paragraph? Your example sentence might be reworded depending on what precedes it and what follows it. In this limited context, either "on" or "from" is acceptable.
    – Sam
    Nov 27, 2021 at 15:15
  • @Sam Thank you very much for the information! I added more information about my sentences. It's about a play, so does it depend on the content of the play?
    – Nigutumok
    Nov 29, 2021 at 1:49
  • @Nigutumok Add the word "who". Choice 1: "... who are from teams." Choice 2: "who happen to be from different teams". etc. I slightly prefer "from" here, but it's still open to interpretation.
    – Sam
    Nov 29, 2021 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


Good question. "A friendship between students on different teams" and "a friendship between students from different teams" are both valid.

  • I would say on is more neutral; it simply says that the students are part of different teams.
  • From perhaps takes the perspective of somebody who is trying to pick out individuals from existing groups (the teams) to mentally move them into a different group (i.e. the group of friends). Thus, the teams are construed as the source of individuals for the friend group (though in reality the students belong to both groups simultaneously).

Similarly, in politics, you can say "people on/from both sides agree that..." or "people in/from both parties agree that...".

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