BETWEEN—AMONG, LESS—FEWER, FURTHER—FARTHER

BETWEEN—AMONG

These prepositions are often carelessly interchanged. Between has reference to two objects only, among to more than two. “The money was equally divided between them” is right when there are only two, but if there are more than two it should be “the money was equally divided among them.”

LESS—FEWER

Less refers is quantity, fewer to number. “No man has less virtues” should be “No man has fewer virtues.” “The farmer had some oats and a fewer quantity of wheat” should be “the farmer had some oats and a less quantity of wheat.”

FURTHER—FARTHER

Further is commonly used to denote quantity, farther to denote distance. “I have walked farther than you,” “I need no further supply” are correct.

EACH OTHER—ONE ANOTHER

Each other refers to two, one another to more than two. “Jones and Smith quarreled; they struck each other” is correct. “Jones, Smith and Brown quarreled; they struck one another” is also correct. Don’t say, “The two boys teach one another” nor “The three girls love each other.”

EACH, EVERY, EITHER, NEITHER

These words are continually misapplied. Each can be applied to two or any higher number of objects to signify every one of the number independently. Every requires more than two to be spoken of and denotes all the persons or things taken separatelyEither denotes one or the other of two, and should not be used to include both. Neither is the negative of either, denoting not the other, and not the one, and relating to two persons or things considered separately.

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The following examples illustrate the correct usage of these words:

Each man of the crew received a reward.

Every man in the regiment displayed bravery.

We can walk on either side of the street.

Neither of the two is to blame.

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