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She is very popular among/with/between her friends and relatives.

Between is used when we refer to any two persons. Among is used when we need to mention more than two people.

So, if I say,

She is popular between the two sisters.
She is popular among her friends.

I believe there should be no grammatical error in the above two sentences. If yes, please correct me.

Secondly in my main sentence my answer book says it is: with her friends and relatives. How do we use with in this sentence.

Suggestions please. Thank you.

  • Please see a detailed answer here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/37636/between-vs-among/… – Mamta D Oct 9 '15 at 4:41
  • @MamtaD Thank you l. But this is explanation between 'among and between' only. My main sentence uses 'with' in it. – Seema Bhukar Oct 9 '15 at 5:21
  • I think you should say "she is popular with the two sisters". The other sentence is OK; you can use either among or with. – Khan Oct 9 '15 at 14:49
  • @Khan That is where I am stuck right now. We know in case of more than two people we use among and in case of two we use between. So, why with is used here? – Seema Bhukar Oct 9 '15 at 16:39
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Something that is popular "among" her friends could be popular with some of them but not necessarily with all of them. Something that is popular "with" her friends can be presumed to be popular with each single one of them.

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She is popular between the two sisters.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by that sentence. Are you trying to say "she is the most popular between the two sisters"? Or "she is the most popular out of the two sisters"?

She is popular among her friends.

She is popular with her friends.

Both above sentence make sense. I wouldn't understand what you mean if you used between though. "She is popular between her friends"? Doesn't make sense to me.

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She is popular with her friends.

is the correct choice. Although "among" is not correct, it would be easily understood. The sentence with "Between" has no clear meaning.

I try to explain this by analogy. Consider the sentence fragments

... a conversation with friends

... a conversation between friends

... a conversation among friends

The first fragment means that someone had a conversation that involved that person's friends. The other fragments mean there was a conversation that involved some people who were friends of each other. The use of "with" shows that the subject is related to the group (the friends) in the fragment. "Among" or "between" means that only the group was involved.

Back to your sentence: In a similar way, her popularity is something that involves not just other people, but her as well, so the correct word is "with".

To make things more confusing, if you reverse the sentence, "among" would be preferred over "with." I won't get into why.

Among her friends, she is popular.

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