During this course we learned, among others, to make a plan.

mvdberg112

New Member
Dutch
Sample sentence:"During this course we learned, among others, to make a plan."
'among others' is to indicate that we learned multiple things, and one of them is 'to make a plan'.

1. Can among others refer to things or abstract ideas or only to persons?Some other examples:
They bought among others some vegetables.
The problem is caused, among others, by lack of study.

2. Is the placement important. Do these mean the same:
2a During this course we learned to make a plan, among others. vs. During this course we learned among others to make a plan.
2b They bought among others some vegetables. vs. They bought some vegetables, among others.
2c The problem is caused, among others, by lack of study. vs. The problem is caused by lack of study, among others.

I found this thread, but it did not 100% answer my question:
http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1145970

With a few reactions we would have some more views on it.
 
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  • MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    'among others' is to indicate that we learned multiple things,

    Notice how you had to explain that to us?!
    Try:
    "During this course we learned, among other things, how to make a plan."
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    1a They bought among others some vegetables.
    1b The problem is caused, among others, by lack of study.
    2. Is the placement important. Do these mean the same:
    2a During this course we learned to make a plan, among others. vs. During this course we learned among others to make a plan.
    2b They bought among others some vegetables. vs. They bought some vegetables, among others.
    2c The problem is caused, among others, by lack of study. vs. The problem is caused by lack of study, among others.
    For me,
    - in 2a and 2b others means other people.
    - 1a, 1b and 2c are unintelligible.

    This is not an easy issue though. I think that this sentence is ambiguous: I don't like all cheeses: I like Edam better than others.
    Do you like Edam better than other people like Edam?
    Do you like Edam better than you like other people?
    Do you like Edam better than you like other cheeses?
     
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    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I think that this sentence is ambiguous: I don't like all cheeses: I like Edam better than others.
    I don't find that one ambiguous, because you've already established what your units are ('cheeses').
    It's all to do with establishing your units, MvdB.
    They bought among others some vegetables.
    Among other whats?
    The problem is caused, among others, by lack of study.
    Among other whats?
    etc.

    They bought, among other foodstuffs, some vegetables.
    The problem is caused by various factors, among others by lack of study.
    (This one would be more elegantly expressed as:
    The problem is caused by various factors, among which is lack of study.)
     

    mvdberg112

    New Member
    Dutch
    Thanks to all four of you.

    So long story short:
    'among others' we can only use if we have mentioned the unit (as ewie says); the unit can be people or things though.

    Understood correctly?

    Thank you!
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Sample sentence:"During this course we learned, among others, to make a plan."
    The whole sentence sounds/feels wrong in English. It looks just like a translation from a bad piece of Dutch.

    GF..

    It might be an candidate for the Dutch/English forum........
     

    Grady412

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You can use "among others" when the reader can easily divine what the "others" are. For instance, you could say "The author's essays have been published in Forbes, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, among others" because the reader will know the "others" refers to other publications.

    For clarity, it's almost always better to define what the "others" are. In my example above, I'd like to see "among other financial publications" (if that is the case). In your vegetable example, it's not clear what the others would be. Did they bring vegetable among other offerings? Did they bring vegetables among other nutritious foods? See what I mean?

    Don't use "among others" as a shortcut to avoid providing examples.
     
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