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diferencias en = differences among / between

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Chozita, May 5, 2008.

  1. Chozita New Member

    Córdoba
    Spanish-Argentina
    Hola! necesito ayuda con esto!!! necesito escribir la siguiente frase en inglés: "No encontramos diferencias en las formas de las galaxias de las muestras A o B"

    "We find no differences among (between) the shapes of galaxies in samples A or B"

    Gracias!
     
  2. lazarus1907 Senior Member

    Lincoln, England
    Spanish, Spain
    Para usar 'among' necesitas un grupo de al menos tres elementos para elegir, o algo que está rodeado de otras cosas o personas. 'Between' se usa normalmente para señalar el espacio entre dos cosas o personas (aunque en teoría pueden ser más), o para comparar dos cosas.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  3. Chozita New Member

    Córdoba
    Spanish-Argentina
    Muchas gracias lazarus!
     
  4. rogeb Senior Member

    Spain and Spanish
    Is it right to say "between all of you" when "all of you" are more than 2 or would it be better to say "among all of you"??

    Thanks.
     
  5. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    When in doubt, use "among" for more than two. Many people use "between" but other people disapprove, so to be on the safe side use "among."
     
  6. rogeb Senior Member

    Spain and Spanish
    Thanks Chris for your answer ;)
     
  7. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    (This is becoming one of my pet peeves,after reading so many "among vs between" threads. I think Chris' advice covers the great majority of cases, so I have nothing to object to regarding his comment "to be on the safe side".
    However, Chris, I'd like to ask you personally if you would still favour "among" in the following examples:
    My bungalow is very dark, as it is situated ¿among? three high-rise blocks
    Could anyone explain to me the difference ¿among? "land", "soil" and "earth"?
    Personally, I'd use "between" in both of these examples, even though we are talking about THREE.)

    To answer the original question, "between" is fine here. There is no discussion. We are only talking about 2 galaxies, and to my understanding, the word "difference" goes much better with "between" than "among".
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  8. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    Personally, I'm not a stickler about the among / between distinction, or rather the alleged among / between distinction, although I may well observe it in many cases in practice. I would definitely use "between" in your second example; I can't quite visualize how a building can be between -- or among -- more than two blocks, so I can't really comment on the first one.
     
  9. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Thanks for replying, Chris.
    If my bungalow had a tall building on each side, I was wondering if you would say it is among/between four blocks (I've gone off the idea of a triangular bungalow!) I'm wondering now if anyone would say it. We'd probably just use "in the middle of" or something like that, wouldn't we?
     
  10. horsewishr

    horsewishr Senior Member

    Michigan (USA)
    English (Generic Midwest Variety)

    I suspect that you mean among. You are comparing shapes, not samples, right? There are only two samples, but we do not know how many shapes there are.

    As I see it, there are two possible interpretations of the sentence:

    We find no differences among the shapes of galaxies in sample A or B. (Note that sample should be singular, since you used the conjunction OR.)
    Sample A and Sample B both contain numerous galaxies of several different shapes. Sample A and Sample B both contain specimens of each type of shape. Therefore we find no differences among the shapes.


    We find no differences between the shapes of galaxies in sample A or B.
    Sample A and Sample B both contain numerous galaxies. But all galaxies are either Shape X or Shape Y. Therefore there is no difference between the shapes.

    Did you possibly mean:
    We find no differences between the shapes of galaxies in samples A and B
    The shapes of the galaxies in the samples are identical.

    In any case, the statement is a bit confusing (at least at this ungodly hour :eek: )
     
  11. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Well done, Horsewishr. Ungodly hour or not for you, I think you have read far deeper into the message than most of us. And that's got me thinking. The original Spanish never says "entre", it says "en", and I'm beginning to think that "in" doesn't sound so bad in English, or does it? It would certainly get us out of the quagmire!
     

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