Tag Archive - amid and among

Amid and Among

Writers often get mass nouns and count nouns confused. Among is used with count nouns—meaning you use it with things you can actually count: “I stood among a group of friends.” Amid is used with mass nouns, meaning you use it with things you can’t count. You would say, “I wandered through the city amid the noise and smog, until I found myself among strangers, who looked at me oddly.” Amid often has the sense of being in the middle of something, or being surrounded, whereas among is more an intermingling or mixing with distinct or separate objects.

(And, by the way, in American English, we leave off the “st” and say amid, not amidst. And we say among, not amongst.) So “you are among a great number of Americans who use amid incorrectly if you use amidst.”